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#509462 - 11/26/15 09:22 PM New Belize City Civic Center Underway
Marty Offline
In September of 2013 the old Belize City Center was torn down with great hope and anticipation for the start of the construction of a new first class facility that would serve the needs of Belize City residents. After waiting for two and a half years, Belize city residents will shortly see that promised construction.

A few days ago work teams began to move into the space which was left after the old structure was torn down and the groundwork has commenced for the construction. After signing a contract on October 8, 2015, JVCA Medina’s Construction Ltd/International Environments Ltd. began the work. Valued at BZ$32,940,261.34 the new facility will include civil works and FIBA certified equipment.

In a release from Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) it states that: “The new Belize City Center Arena and Cultural Complex design will qualify for world championship women’s U-21 and U-19 world championship men and women events. There will be three (3) interior practice basketball courts, and one (1) professional center court. The design allows for designated seating for up to 4000 for games and 5000 for indoor entertainment events such as conventions, concerts and other sporting events such as boxing and volleyball. Seats are individual and are numbered by rows. The design also includes post game rooms, media rooms, administration room and more concessions space. The new Belize City Center will be fully air conditioned and fully handicapped accessible. The facility will be equipped with stage and event performance space and back of house facilities. The size and careful design of the building footprint and structural placement allows for a broader range of vehicles that will now be able to park under the building. The interior function of the building was completed in accordance with FIBA standards and in conjunction with approved consultancy input. Exterior design allows for multiple plazas to accommodate recreational sports and parks, including two (2) outdoor basketball courts, one (1) 5 on 5 soccer field, skateboard parks just to name a few. It caters to hosting outdoor entertainments with Security features, Police and Ambulance Zones.

Construction has already commenced and is expected to go for 24 months and is in fulfillment of the UDP Government’s pledge for the construction of a state of the art sporting facility in Belize City.

The Guardian

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Belize City Center going up

The frame for the Belize City Center is starting to take shape and excitement rises with every beam that is erected next to the BelCan Bridge.

Belize City basketball players have been homeless since September of 2013 when the old Belize City Center was torn down. The only “reliable” venues for hosting basketball competitions since have been the Birds Isle and Belize Elementary Auditorium. Without trying to be ungrateful to a welcoming host, Birds Isle would not qualify to host any mid-level league anywhere else in the world. At any time now, someone may fall through that court. It does have sentimental appeal so maybe the National Institute of Culture and History should look into establishing it as a landmark. The Elementary Auditorium is basically a hot box trapped inside a microwave oven. One of the three point line is further than the other and most ballers swear that one of the rims is higher than the next. Apart from that, the facility provides a decent playing experience. However, Belize City ballers are ready to go back home.

JVCA Medina’s Construction Ltd/International Environments Ltd. signed contracts with the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) on October 8, 2015 and in November of 2015, work teams began to move into the City Center compound to get the project off the ground. According to BIL, the new Belize City Center Arena and Cultural Complex design will qualify for world championship women’s U-21 and U-19 world championship men and women events. There will be three interior practice basketball courts and one professional center court. The design allows for designated seating for up to 4000 for games and 5000 for indoor entertainment events such as conventions, concerts and other sporting events such as boxing and volleyball. Seats are individual and are numbered by rows. The design also includes post game rooms, media rooms, administration room and more concessions space. The new Belize City Center will be fully air conditioned and fully handicap accessible. The facility will be equipped with stage and event performance space and back of house facilities. The size and careful design of the building footprint and structural placement allows for a broader range of vehicles that will now be able to park under the building. The interior function of the building was completed in accordance with FIBA standards and in conjunction with approved consultancy input. Exterior design allows for multiple plazas to accommodate recreational sports and parks, including two outdoor basketball courts, one 5 on 5 soccer field and skateboard parks just to name a few. It caters to hosting outdoor entertainments with security features, police and ambulance Zones.

The value of the contract is BZ$32,940,261.34 and construction is expected to be completed by December of 2017.

The Guardian

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#509601 - 12/02/15 11:13 AM Re: New Belize City Civic Center Underway [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Construction begins on new Belize City Center

Belizeans who have been going to the BelCan Bridge park and basketball court to rest, recreate and play basketball can no longer do so. The park and the court have been fenced in and taken over by contractors for the construction of the new Belize City Center. The park was located on the right side of the south approach to BelCan Bridge near the bank of the Haulover Creek.

The new City Center will be built by the Medina Construction Company Ltd/International Environments, Ltd. at a cost of $32,940,261.25.

The contract was signed on October, 8, 2015, between the Government of Belize and the company.

Amandala had tried for four days to get information about the construction from the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), the arm of the Government responsible for construction of Government projects, but we were given the run-around by its officials. The story, however, appeared today in the Guardian newspaper, an official organ of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP).

BIL says that it has secured funds for the construction of a new sporting complex facility, the Belize Civic Center Sports Complex (BCCSC), which will involve approximately 3.4 acres. The facility will include a main sporting building having an area of approximately 39,000 square feet, which includes the following: parking, storage areas, ramps and entrance areas. A main play hall, along with storage areas, administration offices, bathrooms, concession areas, and fixed seating, are planned.


On the upper levels will be additional bathrooms, media facilities, fixed seating, and concession areas. The facility will include recreational areas around the main building, fencing, landscaping and other accommodations.

BIL said that the main facility will be of reinforced concrete with masonry walls to be covered with a steel framed roof system spanning approximately two hundred feet clear. Critical aspects of the works include the air conditioning system, the electrical system, the structural systems and various finishes.

There will be three practice basketball courts and one professional center court, and the arena will have seating for 4,000 people for games and seating capacity for 5,000 people for entertainment events and for events such as conventions.

On Monday when it was noted that the playground and the court had been fenced in, thus denying access, Amandala began to make enquiries, but it seems as if a gag order had been issued. On inquiry, we were told by the manager on the site to call the Public Relations Office, but on doing so, a woman said that they didn’t know what was happening, and directed us to the BIL office in Belmopan.

Amandala went to Belmopan on Wednesday, but was directed to the managing director of BIL, Christy Maestre. She was not in office, and despite a number of attempts to contact her, no response was gotten.

Amandala


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#509616 - 12/03/15 11:08 AM Re: New Belize City Civic Center Underway [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The New Civic Center Will Be The Most Expensive Building In Belize History

Two nights ago, we told you about the plans for the new Belize City Centre. The contract is for $32.9 million dollars – which would make it the most expensive building in Belize’s history, surpassing the Central Bank which was finished in 1998 for 30 million dollars. So, it’s a huge outlay – and the last gush of Petrocaribe spending – but is there going to be value for money? And will it address the desperate needs of Belize’s basketballers and volleyballers – who have been without a serviceable indoor facility for at least 5 years? Well, Belize Infrastructure Limited is heading the construction and we asked the general manager the tough questions today at the site:…

Jules Vasquez

"Is that price justified?"

Christy Mastry - General Manager, BIL

"Yeah, well you know when we talk about structures like this; and I glad you mention public because we’re designing in the public realm for high public usage. So we start with the parameter that the government wanted to consider this building and commit this building to being a hurricane shelter. One of the first parameters given to the design team was that the building had to be elevated but yet it still had to be ADA compliant; and that's disability association compliance. So we have to be able to accommodate with the proper ramping system and disability access. And it had to be able to withstand up to a category 4 with the safety factors of being a low end category 5. We're doing a lot of things with the design of the building and it's a prefab steel structure that we will be importing in and that will be all galvanized, dipped structure in order to avoid corrosion."

And then all of that interior criteria really has to focus on accommodating FIBA requirements; the play area, the court area, the line of sight and everything else. So when you start to put all of these codes and all of these factors and all of these minimum standards together, you really get a structure that comes out quite expensive but worth it's while. If we're going to build it, we need to build it properly."

Jules Vasquez

"Is this a place that will alleviate all the pressures that these various sporting programmes are facing? And will it be a place for daily usage by multiple levels of playing for at least volleyball and basketball?"

Christy Mastry - General Manager, BIL

"That is certainly a high priority and consideration that we've made. We've already said very much so in the design of the building that it cannot be necessarily open, unmanaged on a daily basis; mainly because the facility will have a lot of equipment and a lot of features that need to be cared for. But what we have been able to do with the design of the building is allow for 3 practice courts and then the one large centre court. And that will allow for multiple users to be practising during the course of the day. We’re building the roof height to the capacity to accommodate the volleyball. Will high schools be able to use it? I believe we could accommodate them for competition when they're organised and they have put together a schedule and it all comes down to the scheduling. We also have accommodated on the site two full size practice courts that will always be accessible to the public."

Jules Vasquez

"The public has been hurt many times by white elephant sports facilities, by bogus undertakings. What can you say to convince the public that what they are seeing on that drawing isn't just some demented fantasy or isn't just some shell, that's it real, it will be purposed, built, it will be user friendly and it will accommodate people in comfort so that they can enjoy sports?"

Christy Mastry - General Manager, BIL

"What I want to say is that even though the images that we're seeing are of the exterior, I defer back to my comment. The exterior and the aesthetics on the outside is only one additional feature. We have spent a lot of time and bulk of the budget to really retro fitting the interior. We met with the FIBA consultant. I brought him on board and we have been using him extensively. He served us with basically what was a 15 page check-list; everything from the actual physical seats, so that we're not just sitting on bleachers but we're sitting on moulded seats that will be numbered. We know when we buy a ticket, we're assured a seat. The comfort of the viewer is absolutely critical if you're going to ask them to say a certain price point. The line of sight, the angle of the bleachers, the court area, the offset, and the media boxes which are absolutely important to place platforms for camera angles. So all of these features are what you're finding out we'll be spending this money on."

Jules Vasquez

"Then is there any idea or thinking for a daily use facility and should you all have envisioned the outdoor courts making those covered courts; so that at least they could be on a daily use basis?"

Christy Mastry - General Manager, BIL

"We’ve talked about a potential for covering but we also know that we have large swath of land over at Lake Independence which we've also considered for potentially a sport park. We're working with the CDB to do the Lake Independence resource centre and one of the amenities they've talked about was an outdoor court as well."

Jules Vasquez

"But you realize that right now how retrograde it is right now for high school volleyball, high school basketball we're still using bird's isle. God bless the designers of it but the place was made in the 70’s. So I'm saying it’s fine and good that you are building this, great. But then are you all thinking of the whole picture and what will kids use on an everyday basis because those are the athletes of the future who will be in this elite facility."

Christy Mastry - General Manager, BIL

"I think that will be an ongoing effort, I think we will continue to look at the entire sporting grid throughout the country because there is certain areas we would want to see. I think the Bird's Isle analogy is a tremendous one and one of the reasons we keep going back to Bird's Isle is because it has the wood court. It has something you all are looking for. It may be completely deteriorated but bottom line it has the standard of what you needed as a player. So those are the things we need to challenge ourselves to continue doing."

"But we can at least start with the minimum, a roof and a wood court so that the players really have something they can and yes we will continue to look at that throughout the city."

Jules Vasquez

"When you say you will continue to look at that, means that you aren't looking at it or there is no fix for that at this time so this will be built and we still will be using Bird's Isle."

Christy Mastry - General Manager, BIL

"Depending on the use, of course we said anything for the elite will definitely be here. Anything with the basketball federation will be housed here as well. But as we said, I think that there can be a management scheme that certainly we are certain that higher yield events can help to offset having certain day that it is open to the juniors and the high schools."

Jules Vasquez

"And then Christy looking at the time frame because this place was torn down 2013; two years later it's still just torn down. I see some work looking to start. When will we have the new civic centre?"

Christy Mastry - General Manager, BIL

"We estimate a 24 month construction process. The building will probably be up and the entire envelope on the site by the end of 2016 and then we will continue into 2017 with all the interiors and everything else that has to be put into place."

Jules Vasquez

"Those of us in news or in sports attended the famous Centro basket in Mexico in late 2008, early 2009. It was a spectacular facility outside of Cancun. It has great seating for about 4,000, it had great courts, everything was nice, it was new and was 8 million US. Now it was on the ground, I know this one will be raised but this one is 16.5 US. How do you account for that discrepancy?"

Christy Mastry - General Manager, BIL

"I don't account for the discrepancy because it's certainly not a discrepancy. To compare one structure to another structure without me actually sitting in front of the plans is an absolutely waste of time. I can tell you what this building has that is costing us, it has an envelope that we are looking at as a hurricane shelter. We are designing a 140,000 gallon cistern so we can have a water reservoir for rain collection. So that can be used throughout the year for non-portable water services for the facility and when it comes to a hurricane, you would have water access at the facility. This building is elevated off the ground 12 feet in order to handle the storm surge that we receive coming from the river. That alone in itself exponentially increased the price of the structure. The seating is for 4,000, they are individual seats and the seating can be expandable to 5,000. We're also accommodating for cultural and entertainment venues as well. The lighting system, the air conditioning systems are very high tech. So I can only tell you what this has but Jules you bring me those plans and I'll tell you what that one doesn't have."

The 70 thousand square foot building will have 400 steel piles and seating space for four thousand persons in the bleachers. As you heard construction has started and should take two years to complete. Mastry tells us the bid for tenders was advertised form the starts of the year, and the contract went to the lowest bid from the consortium of Medina Construction and International Environments Limited.

Channel 7


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#510101 - 12/22/15 11:10 AM Re: New Belize City Civic Center Underway [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
City Centre

By Abdulmajeed K Nunez

32 million fi wah city centre
Holy smokes we must all be in a drunken stooper!
I wonder how they will share the cutbacks?
Will GoB come up again off the people’s backs?
Isn’t this the horse before the cart?
Is it that our priorities are warped?
Truth is that centre could be built for a few million
But half the money will be spend on consultation
How was this bid given to Medina Construction?
Are there any relations between Medina and the big man?
Is he being rewarded for his helping UDP win the elections?
I did not see any bid out on this one
Did anyone?

Belize has no sporting programs
There is no single event that would draw 5,000
Except for a PUDP rally or convention
So why the building before the programs?
Belize does everything in reverse
If the PM declares everyone would take a bath before putting on undies
When the PM declares all cronies become zombies
When the PM declare you all forgot KHMH lost thirteen babies
If the PM declares everyone clean their ass before they defecate
When the PM declared Greg Cho was rejected to nomination to the senate
If the PM declares everyone would give up their birthright
Since the PM declared the cane farmer want a raise on sugar price
Since the PM declared the unions been sacrificed
Since the PM declared the Mayan have gotten another judgement in their fight
They will not give up their birthright

We’re spending 32 million
When to fix the Bliss it would only cost five million
To get proper training for the hostel staff it would cost five million
To start a non-sporting youth program it would cost five million
To finish Marion Jones it would cost five million
The fact in issue to construct a multi- complex in Florida it only cost five million
To fix the MCC it would cost less than five million
To do a housing project for Port would cost less than five million
This would include drainage and septic for everyone

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