(CMR) The Ministry of District Administration and Lands (MDAL) has advised that a project to refurbish the volleyball courts at the Seven Mile Public Beach began on 13 May 2022 and will continue for approximately four more weeks.
While the works are taking place, the volleyball courts will be inaccessible due to interest in public safety. Members of the public are being asked to keep away from the area until further notice.
Commenting on the reasoning for the project, the Minister responsible for Lands, Honourable Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, said, “As a result of cross-government collaboration between the MDAL, the Ministry responsible for Planning, and the Ministry responsible for Sports, plus consultation with the CI Volleyball Federation, it was determined that the sand on the courts was not compliant with specifications within the international competition regulations. Additionally, the sand has now become compacted, which increases risk of bodily injury. It was necessary to replace the sand towards enhancing and safeguarding this public facility situated on Crown land. ”
President of the Volleyball Federation, Mr. Kennedy McGowan, expressed his excitement about the refurbishment. He stated:
“This project could not have come at a better time. We are preparing to host the ‘Under 23 Volleyball Tournament’ coming up in summer and NORCECA Tour in the fall. With the new sand replenishment we are able to expand from 2 to 6 courts, enabling increased access for our national athletes, visiting athletes and volleyball enthusiasts alike. For us, it will mean better training capabilities and more efficient scheduling. I am happy that the Government is working closely with their partners to complete this project that will benefit so many people.”
The area around the volleyball court and directly behind the old Calico Jacks site is now enclosed with safety/security fencing. Public access will be denied, and detours will be established and signposted.
The courts will be excavated to remove the old sand, which will be stored off-site at the National Road Authority’s depot. The sand will be replaced by excess sand taken from a local development on Seven Mile Beach. The Public Works Department will manage the construction project. The W and B Group were awarded the heavy equipment contract following a competitive tender process.
“A permit was granted by the Department of Environment and the Central Planning Authority to use excess sand from a local development situated on the Seven Mile Beach. This sand was professionally and independently analyzed and found to be compliant with specifications within the international competition regulations. The new sand will be sifted and then trucked in,” explained MDAL’s Facilities Manager, Clive Baker.
Once the refurbishment works are complete, the CI Volleyball Federation will re-erect the nets and restore the courts. MDAL will advise the public about the project’s progress and completion accordingly.