Jamaica Sports News, Kingston: Work began on January 7 to replace the Stadium East running track in Kingston, following the approval of some $71.5 million by Cabinet to carry out the project.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, said work is expected to be completed before the upcoming Gibson McCook Relays.
“We are hoping that we will be ready in time for the track season. We should be ready, maybe a week or so, ahead of the Gibson McCook Relays, and I know that the athletes will be happy when they come. I am looking forward to opening the Stadium East track just before the Gibson Relays,” the Minister told JIS News.
She said the area will be properly landscaped and some sections repainted to refresh the environment.
The Minister, who visited the facility yesterday (January 7), accompanied by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Denzil Thorpe and other senior officials, said she was extremely happy that work has started.
She thanked officials of the Ministry of Finance and other government entities for assisting in the process.
Reflecting on the history of the track, Minister Grange said it has nurtured and produced the best athletes in the world.
“This is where Usain Bolt used to train and so many other athletes,” she said, recalling how she had made a commitment to Usain Bolt and his coach, Glen Mills “to do something about the track”, following their appeals for it to be repaired.
“So, we are putting things back on track so it can be available for all the athletes, to the elites and to the young ones, and they will be able to train here injury-free. At least the track will not be an impediment to their training” she added.