Phase one of Essipong Stadium renovation to cost GHC18 million

Sekondi’s premier sports facility, built for CAN 2008, gets its first makeover in a decade

The first phase of renovation works at the Essipong Sports Stadium in Sekondi will cost an estimated GHC18 million.

This was disclosed by the Sports Minister, Isaac Kwame Asiamah, during a sod-cutting ceremony on Monday to mark the start of the project.

The Essipong Stadium has not been renovated since it was commissioned for public use in 2008. At present, the roofing is extensively damaged, leaving fans exposed to rain and other bad weather conditions.

Because the facility is located so close to the sea, the exposed frames corroded quickly. The lavatories and seats for spectators are not in a good condition either. Electricity supply and internet links to the press box have been disconnected for years, and power cables in the stands remain exposed.

However, a report on infrastructural problems at the facility was prepared by the Western Region Sports Committee. The Ministry of Youth and Sports accepted its subsequent recommendation of a stadium makeover.

On approval, a contract was awarded to CISDAN Ltd to carry out the works.

Monitoring renovation

The Sports Minister led a team of officials from his ministry, the National Sports Authority and the Western Regional Coordinating Council to inspect progress on the rehabilitation this week. He told reporters at a media briefing that the stadium renovation works will be executed in two phases.

‘‘The initial phase, which will cost us some GHC17,969,447.10, will cover the replacement of existing defective roofing sheets, sandblasting corroded roofing steel and application of a heavy-duty coating system to guard against further deterioration of the metal structure from the mid-west to the South Stand,” the minister said.

“This is the beginning of renovation works of the sports stadium. As we are all aware, this stadium was built as part of sports facilities built to host the CAN [Cup of African Nations] 2008.’’

Left to rot

The minister bemoaned a poor maintenance culture which had left the facility in such a state of deterioration.

‘‘Since the tournament, not much has been done in terms of renovation work. And here, I want to bemoan the attitude of Ghanaians when it comes to maintenance culture.

“We have spent so much putting up these wonderful edifices but we leave them to rot. The same thing happened in Accra Sports Stadium and Kumasi.”

He assured Ghanaians that the Ministry of Youth and Sports was committed to executing the Essipong project.

‘‘We have seen the contractor [CISDAN Ltd] on site working. That is to say that we are here to get the job done.

“There is going to be strict adherence to maintenance culture here. That, for me, is very critical. I have directed the National Sports Authority to liaise with the Regional Coordinating Council on that.”

Hostel facilities to be refurbished

The makeover will also involve replacing a damaged structural steel frame and bolts in the roof, waterproofing of leaking areas, general renovation of offices, plumbing and air-conditioning repair work, and the renovation of all sanitary appliances, lifts and firefighting systems.

The organisers expect to complete the first phase within 12 months.

Phase two of the Essipong project, Asiamah said, will cover renovation of the spectator seats and electrical installations, as well as completion of hotel/hostel facilities and other works.

“As a matter of need,” the minister said, “a maintenance manual will be provided, so that management of the facility sticks strictly to it.

“There’s going to be strict adherence to maintenance culture here. That, for me, is very critical,” he said.

Atsu Boye

* Asaase Radio 99.5 FM. Coming to a dial near you.

* Twitter: @Asaase995FM

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected