What we expected to hear from Minister Patterson was that he had called for the architectural drawings of this hapless stadium and had gone over them with some of the Civil Engineers and/or Architects that are resident in Guyana.
We thought he would have said that, in as much as the construction began as a donor project, the first priority going forward, would be the human lives that would be at stake once sitting in these bleachers.
Based on that, we anticipated that he would have appeared at his press conference flanked by a team of very vocal construction professionals, Civil Engineers and/or Architects attesting to the existence of a solid plan of construction and reassuring the public that their job, as the professionals, was to ensure that the donated materials met engineering code standards and that construction would be completed in accordance with professional standards.
We wanted details .
We wanted to hear about the consistency of the concrete that is being mixed by individuals and poured to anchor the base of columns. We are curious about the types of hardware that will be used to secure the seats in their places. We wanted to hear that the width of the aisles are standard in each bleacher, and that egress and exit have been mathematically calculated not just gauged, especially since these dimensions should take into consideration, the hurried exit of hundreds in the event of an emergency. We wanted to hear that there will be uniformity in all of these things, especially since each unit in the stadium collection will be constructed by an individual contractor working as an independent unit.
And these are fair questions, given what was churned out in the name of stadium, back in February. There was no uniformity, no code conformation, no architectural oversight.
So, we’re concerned that Minister Patterson’s focus is a deadline. We are a little perturbed that the effort is to get this stadium done by May 12th 2016. We understand the symbolism of using this venue for Jubilee events but feel that it is more important to harness the construction of this stadium under one tether to make sure that it done correctly, this time around.
And there is the other part of this project that we do not want to be placed on a back burner because the focus was on its completion.
In the name of oversight, we want to know who donated what. These donations have to be tabuated in line item fashion and the donors should be made known – especially since business practice in Guyana is known to operate on a quid pro quo basis.
This, to us, is far more important than being able to go to D’Urban Park in May 2016.
Minister Patterson now has the unenviable task of reconstructing flawed construction. That may be insurmountable and seems even more doubtful with a three week deadline looming.
Inherent in rushing is errors. We hope that this coefficient has been factored in to this decision to hurry production.
For us, the alternative of taking time to get it right remains the optimal choice.