Entornointeligente.com / General Manager of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF), Denzil Wilks, says that they are on the verge of finalising a replacement for the pumping system of the 50m pool at the National Aquatic Centre (NAC).
The Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) submitted a request last November for financial assistance in replacing the system, with the cost estimated at $2 million.
The system experienced problems last year because of a damaged gasket with the SDF pitching in to help with the $300,000 repair efforts.
ASAJ President Martin Lyn said in February that they were awaiting the end of the previous fiscal year, which ended last March, for a decision on the matter.
Wilks said that his administration is closing in on a replacement for the system, which should be determined within the next two weeks.
“The fact of the matter is that we are pretty close to addressing the replacement. We are in the process of examining replacements now. We have done some investigations in terms of sourcing and that sort of thing,” Wilks told The Gleaner . “I would say within a matter of not more two weeks, we will be able to say definitively when the replacement will take place.”
While not giving a cost for the replacement parts being considered, Wilks confirmed that there are funds available for the replacement exercise to take place and it is simply a matter of when, not if, they can start the replacement process.
BUDGET SITUATION “The budget situation has now been finalised and immediately after that we got into the business of sourcing and that sort of thing. But the procurement process in terms of just ensuring that we are getting the best value for money is to be completed before the end of this week,” Wilks said. “There is no question that we are going to provide assistance, but in terms of being able to say specifically when we will do the work, I will know by the end of the week.”
The NAC, which was closed for three months last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reopened in July for national and club swim training. The ASAJ recently received approval for competitive swimming to return, with time trials being staged at the NAC since earlier this month.
Lyn says that the developments come at the right time for the federation, as they seek to alleviate the financial pressure the administration is currently facing.
“It’s critical that we get some support financially because we are down 70 to 80 per cent of our revenue and we still have 100 per cent of the pool operations to run,” Lyn said. “So it doesn’t matter if we have one person in the pool or 100, we still have to upkeep the pool to a very good standard to maintain the Ministry of Health protocols.”
Lyn said that potential repairs will not interfere with the association’s plans for future events, as local competitive swimming continues its return and is optimistic that the replacement will reduce costs in the long run for the association.
“This would help us a lot because it would actually ease up on our chemical usage because if the pumps are running stronger and better, we don’t have to worry about everyday incurred (costs for) repairs. We really look forward to help in terms of the infrastructure of the NAC,” Lyn said.
LINK ORIGINAL: Jamaica Gleaner