The lighting replacement project at the Oleai Sports Complex’s track oval has started and is scheduled to be completed by August this year.
Carline Sablan, executive director of the Northern Marianas Sports Association which manages the sports complex, said the notice to proceed with the project was issued on Feb. 9 and work began immediately. Funding for the project, which costs $377,000, is from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Program administered by the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. The grant application was initiated by the Saipan Mayor’s Office.
“Our track oval is one of the most utilized facilities at the Oleai Sports Complex so we are very pleased that we are moving forward with this improvement project. We want to provide members of our community facilities where they can train, exercise, and compete more safely and conveniently,” said Sablan.
USA Fanter Corp. Ltd, the winning bidder for the project, was on-site two weekends ago to remove lighting fixtures and take measurements of the mounting brackets on the metal posts. All lighting fixtures will be replaced with LED lights, which are energy-efficient, cost-effective, brighter, and long-lasting. The new lighting system will come with a control panel that will allow for timers to be set and remote access. The project, once completed, will provide sufficient lighting for night games and competitions.
Responsible use of facilities
Meanwhile, NMSA has renewed its call to the public to follow rules and regulations at the Oleai Sports Complex, particularly the user guidelines at the track oval. Strollers and pets are not allowed at the oval and users are asked to properly dispose of water bottles and other trash. NMSA also requests the public to give way to national athletes training at the track and field facility.
The track oval was resurfaced in 2018, but some portions of the rubberized turf were damaged by Typhoon Yutu and need repair. The facility will have to be re-certified for athletics competitions and to meet international standards in preparations for the CNMI’s hosting of the 2022 Pacific Mini Games.
Besides the track and field oval, other facilities at the sports complex will be upgraded once the Federal Emergency Management Agency-funded improvement projects receive the go-ahead.
The structural assessment of the roof at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium will determine whether it will be repaired or replaced. Additionally, the gym will be airconditioned, while repairs and upgrades at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios and Miguel “Tan Ge” Basa Pangelinan ballfields are also part of the improvement projects. NMSA is still exploring the possibility of purchasing and installing a generator for the entire complex. (NMSA)