Country’s top sporting facility on track to improved status
As the country awaits new dates for the highly anticipated World Under 20 athletics championship that was set to be held at Kasarani Stadium between July 7 and 12, Sports Kenya is working round the clock to ensure renovations at the facility are completed in time for the global event.
In preparation for the World Athletics Continental Tour and the World U20 athletics championship, Kasarani’s main stadium, warm up and hammer areas were closed on March 16 to pave way for renovations, at a cost of Sh 332 million, that were set to be completed at the end of April in time for the Continental Tour.
However, guidelines on the prevention of the spread of Covid-19 meant works would continue at a much slower pace as Sports Kenya was keen to enforce social distancing and other precautionary measures.
“The postponing of these events gave us time to complete all the works that were intended to be done at the facility.
We are working to see the renovations completed as soon as possible.
While the Continental Tour has been rescheduled to September 26, we cannot work with that date as the World Under 20 dates are yet to be announced,” said Sports Kenya Public Relations Officer (PRO) Rakki Asman.
So far, leveling of the warm up and hammer area just outside the main stadium has been done.
Additionally, the grass around that area was changed to match that of the playing surface inside the main stadium.
This, according to Asman, will help in the elimination of weeds, which could easily be transferred from the warm up area to the main playing surface, thus making maintenance much easier.
Construction of a new police post, next to the Stadion Hotel, is half-way done.
The structure where the police are currently housed was constructed during the World U18 Athletics Championship to serve as an ablution block for the warm up area.
“The original design of that structure was an ablution block and changing rooms. No much work will be needed when the police move to their new building.
Only the partitioning done to fit a police post will be removed,” added Asman.
Renovations outside the stadium have been extended to the residential blocks. The rooms in block ‘A’ are undergoing a facelift.
To address the challenges of water and electricity, new boreholes have been dug to address the water problem while the hotel and rooms lighting will be changed to use solar power.
Additionally, the generator that serves the hotel and indoor arena in the event of blackouts will be replaced.
New generators that had been purchased during the World Under 18 games but were never put to use are set to be installed to serve the said areas.
To further address the electricity challenges the stadium’s power station and sub stations have been refurbished. Faulty security lights around the facility are also being replaced.
Meanwhile, inside the stadium the tartan track is undergoing cleaning to restore its original colour with the seats and pathways set to receive a similar facelift.
“We have engaged a company that is using special chemicals to clean the tartan track, the seats and the discolored walls and pathways. We are also replacing any broken seats.
The chemicals will protect the said surfaces from the elements, like UV light, that cause discloring. The media tribune and technical officials’ area are also set to be refurbished,” Asman said.