Minister tours Independence Grandstand ahead of opening

Members of the Independence sub-committee accompanied Minister Kalsakau on his tour to get briefed on works at the Independence Grandstand. Photo: Supplied

Minister of Internal Affairs, Ishmael Kalsakau, has visited the Independence Grandstand to find out about the stage of construction underway at the site prior to the official opening.

A Vt61 million contract was given to Island Construction Ltd, a local company to upgrade the Independence Grandstand ahead of this year’s 40th independence anniversary.

The project includes undertaking repairs to the existing grandstand seating structure and replacing corroded footings, replacement of rotted and damaged timber and connections and replacement of roof sheeting.

It includes the construction of two new grandstand seating wings to the existing grandstand, to match the existing layout and materials as well as a temporary grandstand seating to the northern, southern and western sides of Independence Park to increase seating capacity by 2,000 seats.

The project is supposed to be completed by July 20.

Minister Kalsakau was accompanied by the Minister of Infrastructure and Public Works, Jay Ngwele and members of the independence sub-committee during the visit.

Construction works at the site are in the final stage.

National Coordinator for the 40th independence anniversary, Fred Samuel, conveyed after the visit that the official opening of the upgraded Independence Park is scheduled for Monday next week.

July 30 is the country’s 40th independence anniversary.

As usual every year, citizens in Port Vila will gather together at the Independence Park for the flag raising and listen to the Prime Minister’s address to the nation.

This year will be special with the newly upgraded grandstand, a historical building used for celebrations since 1980.

Festivities are scheduled starting with the Victory Parade on July 23 until July 30.

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