MARIGOT–The French Tennis Federation (FFT) and local tennis club have started rehabilitating the grounds and perimeter fences around the Albéric Richards Stadium tennis courts in Sandy Ground that were badly damaged during Hurricane Irma.
Work on the tennis courts should be completed at the end of August and tennis is expected to resume from September, but only during the day as lighting for the courts still has to be provided at a later date.
Albéric Richards Stadium was badly damaged in the hurricanes. The stands overlooking the football field and athletics track are to be completely demolished.
For the time being, as Jean-Louis Vanterpool stadium in Marigot will be operational during the day, and with a view to balancing the sports facilities in the area, the choice has been made to rehabilitate the tennis courts.
For the record, Albéric Richards and Thelbert Carti stadiums in Quartier d’ Orléans were completely renovated in 2016 and inaugurated in December of the same year, at a total cost of 2.3 million euros, co-financed equally by the French State and the Collectivité.
Albéric Richards Stadium will not be rebuilt as it was before, but replaced by a Centre of Excellence for Sports, a project that received the backing of former President of the French Republic François Hollande on his visit to St. Martin.
President Daniel Gibbs and First Vice-President in charge of youth and sports Valérie Damaseau will be moving this project forward. A 20,000-square-metre area will comprise a 25m x 25m swimming pool with eight competition lanes, an eight-lane athletic track, training centre, and a 60-room accommodation building for visiting athletes.
The centre will be able to host most sports and international competitions. The Collectivité describes the 20-million-euro project financed by the State, Europe, and the Collectivité as a major step forward for the development of sports in St. Martin. The centre is expected to be inaugurated before 2022.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/79429-repairs-underway-on-stadium-tennis-courts