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#527682 - 12/14/17 06:08 AM Re: Belize Civic Centre Sports Complex going up [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,338
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

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 Fives 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.

Its 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. Well contract a management company to do so and Im 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 weve 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 its 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/Cs 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. Were 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 weve 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 Fives Isani Cayetano was at the public tour and files the following report.


#528359 - 01/17/18 12:30 PM Re: Belize Civic Centre Sports Complex going up [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,338
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

New Belize City Civic Center Ad

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