Govt abandons plans for ‘world-class’ arena at D’Urban Park


– after spending close to  $1 billion so far on project

Government has abandoned its original plans to develop D’Urban Park into a “world-class” arena consisting of tennis courts, tracks and play facilities for children.

Several articles in the State media outlined that the facility, which has been in much controversy since its inception, was to be developed into a “state-of-the-art, world-class arena to seat 30,000 persons, twice the capacity of the Guyana National Stadium at Providence.”

An artist’s impression of what D’Urban Park was intended to be

Public Relations Consultant, Alex Graham, in a PowerPoint presentation on the project, disclosed plans to designate part of the arena for sporting activities, including lawn tennis, go-cart racing, basketball, jogging and walking tracks, along with other family oriented facilities.

According to an article published in a State-friendly newspaper, the stadium is intended to be “iconic, transformative and architecturally relevant, combining historic elements with vistas of the future”.

D’Urban Park presently that cost the Treasury close to $1 billion

The article states that the complex was to be designed in three sections: – the promenade, stadium and Health and Recreational Park.

The promenade would have consisted of nine ponds, each for a former President of Guyana while the health and recreational park would have had play facilities for children.

But Guyanese will have to say goodbye to those plans as D’Urban Park will remain as is, with its unpainted wooden bleachers and dull facilities.

President David Granger on his televised programme – ‘The Public Interest’ – said there are no immediate plans to enhance the current structure or appearance of D’Urban Park.

In fact, he denied claims that D’Urban Park was ever meant to be transformed into a topnotch stadium.

“It is not meant to surpass the National Stadium or Leonora Stadium in terms of its beauties and facilities but it is functional… There are no immediate plans under the Ministry of Education, particularly the Department responsible for Culture, Youth and Sport. And there are no short-term plans to make it into a state-of-the-art facility,” President Granger explained.

Nonetheless, he said the intention is for D’Urban Park to be used for national events which attract masses.

Controversies surrounding the D’Urban Park Project exploded when it was finally revealed to the public that Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine sits as a Director of a secret company which was established to collect funds from private companies to develop the Jubilee Park.

This information was initially omitted by Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson when he was being drilled by Opposition Members of Parliament (MP) in the National Assembly last year. (Devina Samroo/Guyana Times)



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