Oceania Football Confederation > News > Solomon Islands > Work begins on stadium upgrade

Work begins on stadium upgrade

Glenn Turner, the FIFA development officer for the Oceania Football Confederation, accompanied officials from the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) to oversee the initial stages of the project.
The delegation met with contractor Fairtrade Company Ltd and the Western Football Association (WFA) to discuss the work schedule for the upgrade, which is being funded by the FIFA Goal Project – an initiative by the governing body to help national associations around the world improve their facilities.
“I am very pleased that in the last 24 hours I have seen a lot of progress,” Turner says.
“It is progress that I had not expected so quickly from the signing of the contracts.”
WFA President Seri Hite is also pleased that work has now begun and believes the people of Western Province will be just as happy.
“It is timely that the construction work kicks off during the World Cup finals,” he says.
“Actually, we in Gizo are witnessing two big steps in the development of football – free-to-air World Cup television and the JFK Stadium project.”
Hite believes the stadium upgrade will bring benefits not only to football in the area, but also to other sports and the wider community. He thinks the economic opportunities associated with football will have a knock on effect.
“These are the things that football is doing for the people,” he says.
Talks about the project began in August last year and a lot of work was conducted behind the scenes to secure an architect and contractor to draw up the plans and carry them out.
Contracts were signed with Melanesian Architect and the Fairtrade Company earlier this year, while FIFA paved the way for funds to be released and work to begin last month.
SIFF turf manager Rueben Oimae says work is expected to be completed by November.
The first stage is to clean up the site and bring in the truckloads of filling compound. The next phase will see the repair and addition of perimeter fencing around the stadium.
The existing seating area will also be removed to allow for the construction of a new stand and improved changing rooms.
Surfacing and planting of grass on the pitch will be done once the initial groundwork is complete.
The ground will unfortunately have to be closed while the upgrade takes place and SIFF special projects manager Phillip Ohoto’ona is urging the Gizo public to keep away.
The use of herbicides and other fertilizers at the site mean it is not safe for people to enter the area without protective clothing due to the risk of chemical burns and poisoning.
“SIFF is appealing to Gizo residents to take this notice seriously,” Ohoto’ona says.
“I am asking parents especially to inform their children not to enter the stadium for the duration of the construction.”
Story and photo courtesy of the Solomon Islands Football Federation.
For the latest SIFF news visit www.SIFF.com.sb

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