For months, we've been reporting on contract signings by Belize Infrastructure Limited for sports facilities in various districts. But what's happening with the actual work on the ground? Yesterday, we asked BIL's General Manager Christy Mastry about these projects, and she explained them in detail:

Christy Mastry - GM, Belize Infrastructure Ltd.
"Where we are now is basically, we have just about signed all of the contracts that we initially set out for the west the down south, which includes Dangriga and Punta Gorda and for the island of san Pedro. I am down south today doing visits on the football facilities for both the Dangriga and Punta Gorda. Both of those are coming along very well. They are getting concrete bleacher blocks, lockers, restrooms and the construction is moving along quite well, for most of the projects now at this point. so I think we only have maybe one other small project to sign in the San Pedro which is a semi-enclosed basketball facility, a roof facility that we are looking at right now and then of course we are in the middle of negotiations for the big project of the Belize City Center."

Daniel Ortiz
"What is the cost of the facilities in Dangriga and Punta Gorda? What is the cost of the football field in San Pedro?"

Christy Mastry - GM, Belize Infrastructure Ltd.
"The price tag for the football facility in San Pedro when it's all said and done with land reclamation and everything we have already put on the ground prior to the contractor will be approximately 3.5 million dollars and that will include all of the proper facilities. The football facilities in both Punta Gorda and Dangriga luckily had a fairly intact natural grass pitch. The challenge for San Pedro is of course the growing of the grass and putting in the right drainage and systems to make that sustainable for the long term. With Dangriga and Punta Gorda, both of them had a natural grass pitch that just needs some rehabilitation. What they really needed was the facilities to operate. So that's what's going in both of those. So the price tag for those are roughly between l.2 - 1.5 million respectively. So slightly less because the pitch is such an expensive component and luckily those were semi intact. We are just putting all the other facilities into play now."

And, what about the Belize City Center, or as it is known, the "Civic"? It's been torn down for months now, and just under 5 years ago, the facility had to be closed because engineers said that it was structurally unstable and unsafe. Since then, there has been no movement to build a new facility the City - so long without a suitable facility for basketball and volleyball. We asked the BIL representative if there is any urgency for this project:

Daniel Ortiz
"It appears as though... for those of us who aren't informed, it appears as though it has been stalled."

Christy Mastry - GM, Belize Infrastructure Ltd.
"Well the big challenge of that project was the magnitude of it. The challenge of its location and getting the proper site facilities and parking to work with it. how to really encompassed using both the boulevard and the river front as assets to the design, instead of bordering or hindering access to the project itself and really putting all the components that we needed to put together into what we hoped to be a 30 million dollar price tag. So what were are doing is, we have already gone through the actual bidding process and we have a firm that we are now working with and negotiation. All of that is negotiating the actual design and the interior component in order to see if we can more strategically align the design of the building to the budget that the government has allowed for it."

Daniel Ortiz
"The situation with the civic center is that an entire generation of youths, their talent has been squandered due to the improper of management of the facility especially civic, that isn't your problem or your fault because you came before. It happened before you but it appears as though it is taking too long to get started and it will take a while before it is finished. What assurances can you give to those citizens, the Belize City residence who want a proper facility erected now and anytime later is already too late?"

Christy Mastry - GM, Belize Infrastructure Ltd.
"Well the truth is you are right. it is not necessarily the fault of the team on the ground to date but it is certainly a burden and it's certainly a major issue that resonates loudly with myself, the design team and with the government and so we know that this time around we have to put in place from day 1 when shovels hit the ground, a structure that will allow for a management company that will come in and generate revenue so its enticing for some sort of private sector management entity. This building is far too big for us to be naive enough to believe that it can just sit there and run itself. so we really need to focus some energies on the operations of this facility going forward because we really believe it is going to be a complete asset to the country of Belize and particularly to Belize City and open up not just for the athletes but also for our entertainment and cultural events as well. So definitely it's something that is on our radar, not just the design of the building but how it will operate in the long run."

Mastry says that the Government wants to finish the construction of the new Belize City Center in 2 years.

Channel 7