Renovation work at Stad Linite under way |22 March 2023
Presently closed for all sports activities, Stad Linite at Roche Caïman has entered in its first phase of renovation work, which is the removal of the existing damaged synthetic tracks, in place since 2011 when the country hosted the 8th Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG).
Agreements for the face-lift have already been signed, while materials for a new synthetic track is expected to arrive in the country in late May, or early June, chief executive of the National Sports Council (NSC) Marc Arissol has confirmed.
Mr Arissol was speaking at a press conference yesterday morning, where he gave an update on maintenance work being carried out on various sporting facilities, administered by the NSC.
Also present at the press conference were chief executive of the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF) Denis Rose, along with Keith Arnephy and Dorothy Henriette from the Seychelles Infrastructure Agency (SIA).
The first phase of the resurfacing work has been awarded to Benoiton Construction Co (Pty) and it will include removal of the existing track, while the second phase which is to lay the new track has been awarded to an international company.
Mr Arissol said if all goes well, the new track should be ready by August.
Regarding queries concerning renovating the track at Stad Linite, instead of Stad Popiler which is an athletics stadium, Mr Arissol explained that with future town development plans, there is a possibility that the stadium will be relocated.
Mr Arnephy explained that, being a 30-year old facility, Stad Linite has gone through inconsistent maintenance work over the years, and it is now the ideal time to identify and work on crucial areas that need immediate and specific attention in terms of efficient maintenance.
This, he said, targets largely the structural and concrete part of the facility which is close to the sea and had been exposed to sea spray over the years, having endured substantial damage.
He said encasement work on structural members has already been completed since it is among the most crucial part of the work, ensuring longevity of the facility, while waterproofing work will be the next step ahead.
Mr Arnephy added that they are also assessing the viability of the facility at present to come up with a prevention plan to minimise future damages, with the NSC in present negotiation for adequate funding, before the different work components are prioritised based on urgency.
He said structurally, the stadium is still solid and no major demolition work of any sort will be required, while the assessment will be purely based on incorporating new requirement within the existing stadium, including more fire exits.
So far, the cost for structural work done totalled to around R500,000, while the proposed costing for the waterproofing is still a procurement procedure, awaiting bidding process.
As for the football field, including the lighting systems, it will fall under the SFF through the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (Fifa).
Mr Rose explained that renovation of the field has been possible after a lease agreement between the Seychelles government and Fifa in May last year, as guarantee that football will be given priority when it comes to using the field.
It was only after the agreement that Fifa agreed to fund the renovation project.
As from April 3, removal of the existing surface will begin, before levelling and drainage work will take place.
This will be followed by the main resurfacing work whereby a new layer of artificial turf will be laid. The work is expected to be completed by mid-July.
Mr Rose said maintenance work on lighting system will be carried out simultaneously with the resurfacing project, and the whole project will cost around R16 million to R17 million, all funded by Fifa.
He explained that changing rooms, referees’ room, along with other facilities needed to meet the international standard has been assessed by a Fifa expert and the work will be carried out in different phases, after discussions with the government for funding, since the stadium is still the property of the Seychelles government, and those work are not part of the Fifa agreement.
As for the SFF calendar, Mr Rose explained that teams were given the option between Stad Popiler and the astro-turf pitch, for their remaining matches, and they will play wherever they choose.