Renovation of the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG) has commenced, as a large work crew begins demolition of the condemned Double Decker Stand and the cleaning and repair of the world-renowned cricketing venue.
Work started on Monday, June 13, with Education Minister Daryll Matthew; Chief Executive Officer of the West Indies Oil Company Limited Gregory Georges; and Managing Director of Hanka Construction Jamilla Hodge on hand to witness the historic stand being taken down.
The team from Hanka Construction began removing material from the Double Decker, some of which reportedly will be re-used to build seating at the YASCO sports facility on Old Parham Road.
In the heyday of West Indies Cricket, the Double Decker was informally christened “The Party Stand” and was made internationally famous by deejay maestro Chiki and comedians Gravy and Mayfield.
That stand, during other sporting and recreational events, was the place to be for many years, because of its lively atmosphere.
Over the years, the stand fell into disrepair due to age, and a decision was made to demolish the condemned structure in the interest of public safety.
The vendors who plied their trade beneath the stand were recently relocated to a site opposite the ARG and fronting the Government Printery.
Meanwhile, workmen are also busy removing and replacing light bulbs on the stands ahead of the Carnival festivities. Cleaning of the seating and other work are also being undertaken, as indicated in the June 9 Cabinet Notes.
Construction of a stage will be undertaken in short order, officials say.