Aussie firm, 9 others eye Oleai project


Northern Marianas Sports Association vice president Dr. Kurt Barnes, center, shows to representatives of interested contractors the black patches and bubbles at the Oleai Sports Complex track facility. (Jon Perez)

An Australian firm and nine other local contractors showed interest in submitting a bid for the resurfacing project of the Oleai Sports Complex’s track oval based on the mandatory pre-bid conference held yesterday at the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. office in Garapan.

The pre-bid conference was done to know how many are interested in submitting a bid for the project, while deadline for bid submission is set for Jan. 22. All the required documents must be turned over at the Procurement & Supply office in Lower Base no later than 4:30pm.

NMHC planner and environmental officer Jacob Muna announced in the meeting that they are also changing the performance time from 150 calendar days to 150 working days.

Australia-based Polytan, Tropex Garden, and Hongye Construction are three of the 10 contractors that will be vying to land the project funded by a Community Development Block Grant from NMHC.

Polytan sales and project development official Steve Heaps represented his firm, Ernie Basillo attended for Tropex, while Hongye had Jerry Bernabe.

Heaps, who came to Saipan just to attend the meeting, said that their company would submit a good offer in the hopes of gettting the project.

“We specialize in doing this type of projects. We have been one of the leaders in track systems in the Asia Pacific and have the knowledge, skills, and personnel in getting this done,” said Heaps, who went back to their head office in New South Wales Thursday morning to report the proceedings.

Polytan, according to its website, also has offices in other countries in Asia and New Zealand, giving the company the opportunity to land similar projects in the region. The firm made the track surfaces at Hong Kong Sports Institute, New Zealand professional rugby team Chiefs’ training facility in Ruakura and several stadiums in Australia, like the Barlow Park in Cairns and Griffith University in Queensland.

“We also did the track in Pohnpei, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. So, we are used to working on islands and with this type of climate,” said Heaps.

“We are here to give the best quality service. A track facility that will last and enjoyed by the community,” he added.

Tropex Garden’s previous projects involved laying out the grass surface at the Oleai football field and the greens and fairways of the Laolao Bay Golf & Resort.

“Our boss [Lito Mendoza] decided to submit a bid for this project since it will be a challenge for us. We’re just going to try our luck but if we get the project it would be good for our company,” said Basillo.

NMHC and the Northern Marianas Sports Association, the private sports group tasked to maintain the decade-old facility, want to make sure that the resurfacing work—from the moment the old rubber surface is removed and up to laying out the adhesive and the new track—is done properly in order to regain its Level II certification from the International Association of Athletics Federations.

The Oleai Sports Complex Stadium, the only eight-lane Level II certified facility by the IAAF, was constructed in early 2000 and opened in 2002. It previously hosted the 2006 Micronesian Games, the 2008 Oceania Athletics Championship and many local tournaments.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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