The long overdue repair work at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium will begin anytime soon, according to Tony Rogolifoi.
Rogolifoi, executive director of Northern Marianas Sports Association, which is tasked to manage the facility, told Saipan Tribune that he got a call from the Public Assistance Office informing him about the updates on the project.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency coursed through the fund for the Oleai Sports Complex project, including the repair work at the Ada Gym, to PAO, which is under the Office of the Governor. FEMA approved $505,220 in public assistance funds for the sports facilities damaged by Typhoon Soudelor in 2015. PAO had a pre-bid announcement in November 2017 and had another one early this year before proceeding with the actual bidding process in April.
“It took a while for the bidding process to be completed, plus the waiting time for the materials to be shipped here. I got a call from PAO last Monday and they told me the project may start anytime soon,” Rogolifoi said.
“There’s a lot of things to fix, but they will start first at the gym and worked their way out to the softball and baseball fields,” the NMSA official added.
The entire flooring of the gym will be replaced, while ventilation and roofing will also be fixed. A new PA system will be installed along with a scoreboard, which has arrived several months ago and has been under NMSA’s care.
The Ada Gym last underwent a facelift in 2011 when new bleachers and flooring were installed. While the bleachers are still in good condition, the flooring is not with bubbles emerging just a little over two years after its placement. Right now, parts of the flooring had already peeled, while line markings have faded.
Besides having a new flooring, fans will also be replaced, while Rogolifoi is hoping they could find more funds to have the Ada Gym air-conditioned. The NMSA executive director added that it would take five months for the repair work at the gym to be completed.
“With that, the gym won’t be available for any leagues or activities. We already informed sports organizations and other groups early this year about the closure of the facility,” Rogolifoi said.
Improvements of the various sports facilities on Saipan, particularly those located at the Oleai Sports Complex, are needed as the CNMI is preparing to host the Pacific Mini Games in 2021. Pacific Games Council officials are expected to pay Saipan a visit in the coming years to assess these facilities and gauge the islands’ readiness for holding the quadrennial meet.