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Re: Belize Civic Centre Sports Complex going up [Re: Marty] #527682
12/14/17 06:08 AM
12/14/17 06:08 AM
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Marty Offline OP

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Civic Center Is Ready And Open For Viewing

In July, we took you inside the Belize Civic Center for a look at how far the contractors had progressed in constructing the new multi-million dollar facility.

Well, 5 months later, and they're just about finished with the construction the CIVIC. The construction team has a few finishing touches that they have to put on the building, and after that they will hand it over to the public.

Now, as you are aware, the construction of this - the most expensive public building in Belize's history - has been a political hot button issue.

So, to keep on the offensive and emphatically make the point that you are getting value for money, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, the General Manager of BIL, and the architects and contractors hosted public tours of the facility today. They wanted to show the press why the building cost a shade under 33 million dollars.

Deputy PM Faber started by making the point that the building was construction without going over the budget. Here's what he and other at the head table had to say:

Hon. Patrick Faber - Deputy Prime Minister

"I want to begin by dispelling any notion that the center cost any more than the $32.941 million dollars that it cost, so others who are speaking about $40 million that is nonsense. That is one aspect that we hoped you could have asked on, what this money is being spent on."

Christy Mastry - GM, BIL

"We signed the contract in December 2015 and it was a 24-month contract. As the DPM clearly said, it is December and here is the building. The contract was signed for $32,941,000, that is the budget that we have spent to date. We are on time and we are on budget and this is what $32,941,000 in 2017 looks like on the ground."

Daniel Arguelles - Architect, International Environments

"When we started the design process for this building we, and we always try to practice this in all our designs, opted for some sort of eco-friendly building efficiency system. And in this particular building on a whole, the entire building is insolated- all walls, all roofs. For this building to operate the entire AC systems, we have several tiers of AC systems, basic ones as what you can see here in this room and more smart systems that are designed for the arena itself. There are six large smart AC systems that either run under 0 occupancy, shuts off when it is necessary, if it knows that there is no one in the arena or on a packed day, let's say 5 thousand people are in the arena for a nice game, it will keep a temperature of about 73 or 74 degrees consistent. With that, I'm speaking more on the AC system, in the design process we opted to go with new and improved systems that are out there. You'll notice these big green bags that are blown with air in the arena and in and around the hallway, that is a lightweight material, it offers the inefficiencies in dispersing the air easily without the complexities of the isolation processes."

Daniel Ortiz

"Can anyone from the table share with us estimates or plans that you have put together to determine what it will cost to run the facility?"

Christy Mastry

"In full transparency, we were looking at roughly somewhere close to between $800 thousand to $1 million a year. So if the Government took this on as a project that we wanted to maintain a building of this capacity we would say, ok let's go to cabinet, let's staff what we need to staff and let's spend a million a year and put in the books. In best practices right now, in many of the countries, particularly in the region, they are going out to the private sector to create partnerships to turn these building opportunities into business ventures. So we can't shy away from the price to run a facility of this nature. What we can do is put in place the proactive mechanisms to ensure that money is made or generated by the events we have throughout the year to cover those expenses and if possible, create a profit scenario mechanism."

Faber was also asked about the government's process of selecting the private managers who will be the caretakers of the facility when it opens. He said that the companies who expressed interest aren't exactly a fit as yet, and so more time is being taken to choose among those who have made bids:

Hon. Patrick Faber

"We have opted to place the management of this building under a contract; we will contract a management company to do so. And I'm sure that all Belizeans are aware that we invited bids for that some time ago. It was on October 6th that it was opened up. And we, in fact, closed that or we tried to close the process on the 5th of December, just last week. We received a total of 5 interested entities. However, we found that none of those who put in the interest met the technical requirements that we were looking for and so we have decided to extend the process and that will now continue up until the end of January. What that means, and let me go back a minute to express why we are hiring a management company instead of managing it ourselves as so many people who are in the social media who are misguided, in my view, put out there. You have seen this facility, those of you who are here with your cameras perhaps can put it out there to our wider Belizean population this evening but you see that it is a state of the art facility. Many of you know that in the past when we've invested big monies in projects that in fact after a little while, a few years maybe, they deteriorate. And so, maintaining a facility like this is going to be crucial as we go forward. We don't have a very good track record of doing maintenance work for these facilities once we've had them."

Now, the Civic will not be open for use until about March or April of next year. That will give the Government time to finalize their contract with the private management company who will take over the day to day management of the facility. Although it is just about finished, the Government want to be careful that proper security and management practices are in place, to ensure that the amenities aren't damaged before they can hand over to the private company. They want to be able to give over management of the facility in "mint" condition.

Channel 7


The Civic is Back – Who Will Manage Spanking New Arena

A new state of the art Civic Center on Central American Boulevard was opened today for the first tour by the public. The impressive facility is said to cost the government thirty-three million dollars, complete with a FIBA certified basketball court. But with all the trappings there is one thing lacking. How will it be run and maintained?  News Five’s Isani Cayetano was at the public tour and files the following report.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

With a price tag of roughly thirty-three million dollars, the newly remodeled Civic stands as the most expensive public building to be erected by the Government of Belize.  Work on the project began in December 2015, almost two years after the previous metal construction had been demolished.  Since then, a team of designers, engineers, contractors and workmen has been toiling diligently to realize the vision of a new sports and multipurpose facility in the Old Capital.

Christie Mastry, General Manager, Belize Infrastructure Limited

“The contract was signed for thirty-two million, nine hundred and forty-one thousand.  That is the budget that we have spent to date.  We are on time and we are on budget, and this is what thirty-two million, nine hundred and forty-one [thousand] dollars in 2017 looks like on the ground.”

It’s a lot to behold at first glance.  The sheer magnitude of the structure can be overwhelming, but a walkthrough of the building gives a complete appreciation of its architectural and engineering features.  At seventy-five thousand square feet, the interior boasts a world-class, FIBA certified basketball court, encircled by over three thousand individual seats.  On the second and third levels are a mezzanine and a VIP section, respectively.  Perhaps the most obvious question, aside from cost consideration, is the management and maintenance of this eight-figure behemoth.

Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister

“We have opted to place the management of this building under contract.  We‘ll contract a management company to do so and I‘m sure that all Belizeans are aware as well that we invited bids for that some time ago.  It was on October sixth that it was opened up and we in fact closed that, or we tried to close the process on the fifth of December, just last week.  We received a total of four interested entities, however, we found that none of those who put in their interest met the technical requirements that we were looking for.  So we‘ve decided to open it back up, to extend, rather, is the way we should put it, to extend the process that will now continue up until the end of January.”

While it is designed to withstand a Category Five hurricane, the concrete and metal edifice was also drawn up with environmental friendliness in mind.

Daniel Arguelles, International Environments

“We wanted to compete with whatever they have out in the region.  We wanted to make it energy efficient for the business aspect of it, so that when running this building, you know, we calculated in and around maybe three hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year on just energy which is not that much when operating a facility of this size, especially with these big units and fully air conditioned.”

At capacity, the new Belize City Center can accommodate up to five thousand persons, both seated and standing.  As one can imagine, the cost of running the building at its peak, or even when it’s unoccupied, can be expensive.

Christie Mastry

“In the package that went out for bidding for the management companies was that we worked with the contractors, the joint venture team and we put together a very accurate, indicative chart of operations and maintenance expenses throughout the year.  So that includes everything, from running the A/C’s for full-time events, larger full crowd events, medium-sized events on a day-to-day basis.  It includes staffing, it included security, it included basically, all the overhead if you were running this as a business venture.”

The final touches being completed in these remaining weeks, it is presently open for tours by the public for a limited time only.  Whomever wins the bid for management, it is expected that the building will be officially launched within a month to a month and a half after the signing of that contract.

Patrick Faber

“I believe the contract that we would sign with them allows us for an official opening within thirty to forty-five days of us signing off.  So if you give us a week or two to evaluate the bids at the end of January, we are looking at somewhere in March or April for the official opening.  We’re not going to lie to people about that.  We are insistent that we are not going to open this facility until we have everything right.  You know the dangers if we start using the facility without the proper management company in place and I am hoping that the Belizean people will be just a little bit more patient.  I know we’ve waited a long time but we want to make sure that we get it right.”

The perimeter of the building is equally as impressive, with a basketball court, a football pitch, a dock on the riverfront, adequate parking and a bus stop to boot. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Channel 5


A new state of the art Civic Center on Central American Boulevard was opened today for the first tour by the public. The impressive facility is said to cost the government thirty-three million dollars, complete with a FIBA certified basketball court. But with all the trappings there is one thing lacking. How will it be run and maintained? News Five’s Isani Cayetano was at the public tour and files the following report.


Re: Belize Civic Centre Sports Complex going up [Re: Marty] #528359
01/17/18 12:30 PM
01/17/18 12:30 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,324
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

New Belize City Civic Center Ad

Re: Belize Civic Centre Sports Complex going up [Re: Marty] #528948
02/17/18 06:11 AM
02/17/18 06:11 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,324
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Civic Center Soon

But the good news is that Government is probably likely to open the Civic Center before it fills the vacancy for the chair of the Integrity Commission. The opening of the much anticipated sports facility has been delayed because government has been trying to find a suitable management company. Faber told us today that they are close to making a final selection:...

Hon. Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister
"We were extending the time period for us to complete selecting the managing company, because we were not completely satisfied with the bids that were put in. I can now report that in fact that procedure is almost winding down. We have narrowed it down to one company, but we are doing our due diligence to make sure that we check everything that needs to be check before we sign off officially and make it known to the public."

"But moving along I expect that we should have that company in place by the end of this month and we have an agreement with any company that we sign with for an opening to happen within 30-45 days after we sign that contract. So the residence of this city and in fact the wider country can espect the civic open no later than in April or so."

Channel 7


Opening of New Civic Center in Sight

If you’re wondering when the Civic Center will be open for business, the Minister of Sports says it may be as soon as April. The construction of the state-of-the-art facility began back in December 2015 and was concluded by Belize Infrastructure Limited last December to the tune of thirty-three million dollars.  Today, Patrick Faber says that they have narrowed down the bidders to one management company.  A contract hasn’t been signed as yet, but it is expected to be finalized in a matter of weeks after which the management company will have up to a month and a half to officially open the facility to the public.

Patrick Faber, Minister of Sports

“We have always maintained that the Civic Center will be opened shortly. As a matter of fact, if you can recall when we held the press conference, I think it was November of last year, we were extending the time period for us to complete selecting the management company because we were not completely satisfied with the bids that were put in. I can now report that in fact that procedure is almost winding down. We have narrowed it down to one company but we are doing our due diligence that we   check everything that needs to be checked before we sign off officially with that company and make tit known to the public. But moving along, I expect that we should have that company in place by the end of this month and we have an agreement with any company that we sign with for an opening to happen within thirty to forty-five days of when we sign that contract. So, residents of the city and wider country can expect the Civic open no later than in April.”

Channel 5


Re: Belize Civic Centre Sports Complex going up [Re: Marty] #529719
04/06/18 05:29 AM
04/06/18 05:29 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,324
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Finance Sec Says No Gov’t Guarantee for Civic

The Government’s chief financial officer has confirmed that there is no such thing. So what did General Manager of Belize Infrastructure Limited, Christy Mastry, intend to convey when she said on March nineteenth that the Government is guaranteeing eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year to cover the maintenance costs of the Belize Civic Center? According to the People’s United Party, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has confirmed that, “with regard to the purported G.O.B. Guarantee to Apex Belize Limited, after due inquiry, I am assured that there is no guarantee agreement between the G.O.B. and Apex Belize Ltd.” Waight also said that he does not yet have an executed copy of the agreement signed on March nineteenth during the public announcement by Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber; GM Mastry; and the Principal of APEX International, Chad Eckert. The P.U.P. reiterates that B.I.L. is not a revenue earner for the Government and is not in any position to affirm government guarantees. Further, the National Assembly has not given approval to any such guarantee and neither has any such guarantee been published in the Gazette. So if such a guarantee exists, says the P.U.P., it would violate the Finance and Audit Reform Act. The Act is also being violated in respect of B.I.L.’s expenditure budgeted from the consolidated revenue. For the new fiscal year, the company gets three million dollars but there are no details on what it is spending on. As for Eckert, he has denied wrongdoing, though he faces a civil suit in respect of another business conducted locally. For context, here’s what Mastry said in its entirety on March twenty-sixth.

Christy Mastry, General Manager, Belize Infrastructure Limited [File: March 26th, 2018]

“There is a minimum guarantee based on their gross revenue that the company has to earn. That is basically what we would have said that if the government was running this facility itself for the year, it’s what it would cost to run this facility. The beauty of a contract such as this is once they have made past that gross revenue we no longer have to put a dollar into it – that gross revenue has now made the government revenue neutral on the facility every year for three years. That is the mark of success; if they are making that, banking that, filling that pot to that number, the project is successful as long as they are maintaining the facility. Over and above that there becomes a profit sharing mechanism, a ladder style mechanism, where it’s twenty-five-seventy-five and then it goes to fifty-fifty so the government always comes out with extra above. So not only are we revenue neutral we have the capacity to earn money while they maintain the facility. Should in those three years they not be able to achieve this then we believe the contract would be, and we do not believe it will ever be, would be in failure and then we would have to decide after those three years – at two and a half years into it we would start renegotiations and if they are where we see the project would be failing we would then go out for another management entity after those three years. Should we believe that they are in success and in the mode of success they have the first right to renegotiate.”

The Opposition continues its demands for a copy of the management contract on the public/private partnership between Government and APEX. The P.U.P. is also asking for a copy of the due diligence report of IMG Rebel, contracted by the Government, and asks for the support of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and the trade unions.

Channel 5


Re: Belize Civic Centre Sports Complex going up [Re: Marty] #530206
05/02/18 06:27 AM
05/02/18 06:27 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,324
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Marlyn Vansen Performing live @ THE BELIZE CITY CIVIC CENTER GRAND OPENING!

Re: Belize Civic Centre Sports Complex going up [Re: Marty] #530231
05/03/18 01:50 PM
05/03/18 01:50 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,324
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Belize City Basketball is Alive Again ‘Coope’ Claims Ownership of the Fabulous Civic Center

Two of Belize’s all-time great basketball icons laced up their sneaks to play in the official opening and first ever semi-pro game at the new Belize City Civic Center on Monday, April 30, but at the end of the night it was a young phenom who stole the show when he ripped the torch out of a legend’s hands in a 20 point rout.

Over 4,000 Belizeans made it out to the opening of the new Belize City Civic Center and all they could talk about after the game, other than the magnificent facility itself, was 20-year-old Glency “Coope” Lopez. Coope lit Civic on fire with a barrage of long range missiles and swift attacks that rendered ‘Defenders’ powerless. Darwin “Puppy” Leslie put up his best efforts to keep the Digicell Defenders in the game. Leslie has been the face of Belize basketball for several years and is the current and only ever King of the National Elite Basketball League. However, Lopez is widely accepted as the heir to the throne and he did his best to convince everyone in attendance on Monday that the future is now!

The Hurricanes separated themselves from the Defenders early in the first quarter with swarming defense and an assault on the paint. Brian “Beso” White recorded the first ever basket in the Civic with a signature put back layup. The Defenders turned over the ball several times in the early minutes of the game. Most of the turnovers were unforced. This sparked a lot of questions in the stand about the whereabouts of sharp shooting guard Jacob “Snake” Leslie. He draws attention from the defense that prevents them from applying as much ball pressure on the point guards. No one answer could be provided for that question but it was clear that the Defenders really missed the vet’s presence. Without Leslie the floor spacing was poor and Hurricanes were able to crowd the paint. It was ugly to watch for Defenders fans. The third quarter was especially excruciating as Coope dropped threes after threes and outright embarrassed defenders who dared to step up to him. He showed off a killer crossover that drew “OOhs” and “Ahs” from the massive crowd.

The game was over after the 3rd quarter when Coope scored double digits in the frame to finish the game with 30 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 0 turnovers on 11 for 18 from the field and 6 for 8 from beyond the BelCan Bridge. White finished with 15 points and 11 boards on 7 for 9 from the field. Darwin Leslie finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists but had a game high 5 turnovers as he was left with no choice but to force the action for his team. Nigel Jones, the foreign player for Defenders, finished with an impressive 21 points and 12 boards. However, he shot an inefficient 8 for 18 from the floor and was a -10 points when on the floor.

The future bodes well for Belize basketball and the Hurricanes-Defenders match was a perfect game to open the facility as the last three eras of the sport was featured. The other legend featured was “Superman” Keith Acosta who played 9 minutes but did not register in the scoring column. Leslie took the torch from Superman who now serves as a mentor on Hurricanes to Coope and other young talents. Both teams have already secured playoff spots so there is the possibility of Puppy delivering when it actually counts and slow down the young phenom. The Civic is a gem and basketball in the city is Back!!!

The Guardian


The new Belize Civic Center is a promise FULFILLED!


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