UPGRADE work at Skinner Park in San Fernando is expected to be completed next year. This was the response provided by the Urban Development Corporation of TT (Udecott) in response to questions from Newsday about the status of the project.
Udecott said construction work started at the park last October and is "scheduled for completion in February 2021." Udecott also said, “Demolition of all previous structures was completed." Piling for the main stand was set to begin by the end of the week.
"The duration of the piling works is approximately six weeks." When Newsday visited the park on Monday, the gates were closed and there did not appear to be any activity taking place inside. The main stand and other buildings inside the park were demolished. San Fernando West MP Faris Al-Rawi, San Fernando East MP Randall Mitchell and San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello turned the sod for the start of the redevelopment work last September.
The first phase includes upgrading the cycling track, a pavilion with 6,000 seats, redesigned mayor’s box, corporate boxes, concessionaire stands, indoor multi-purpose courts, changing rooms and an outdoor basketball court with its own bleachers. Phase two will include new parking facilities and enhancing the secondary playing field near the park. It will be done by York Structures at a cost of about $200 million and is scheduled to be completed within a year.
Al-Rawi, who is also Attorney General, said, “The redevelopment of phase one and two allows us to accommodate the Cross Crossing vending, the street food, the service to our community, in one centralised, safe location.” At a news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair last June, Sport and Youth Affairs Minister Shamfa Cudjoe said the cost of upgrading Skinner Park was $147 million. She said plans to upgrade Skinner Park dated as far back as 1995. Cudjoe said Government was pleased to undertake this project because the park is a flagship facility for sport, recreational and cultural activities in South Trinidad.
Owing to the upgrade work, the Calypso Fiesta competition and the Chutney Soca Monarch finals will be held at Guaracara Park in Pointe-a-Pierre next month. Both events traditionally have been held at Skinner Park.