Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri glossed over the severe deadline setbacks and cost overruns that the new Gozo Aquatic and Sports Centre has seen on a visit to the work in progress in Victoria earlier today.
The project was meant to have been completed in time for this month’s Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) that are being held in Malta this year between 28 May and 2 June.
The GSSE 2023’s organisers, SportMalta, were compelled to drop plans to use the pool for the games since the project has entirely missed its deadlines.
Originally planned to open its doors in 2021, the Gozo Ministry had assured the event’s organisers last year that the project would be completed in time for this month’s games.
The pledge, however, remains unfulfilled once again and the project has already overshot its original €9 million budget by around €7 million.
But when Camilleri paid a visit to the complex earlier today, he said work is “progressing as planned and the first phase of the project, which includes the roofing of the facilities, is about to be completed”.
Camilleri made no mention of the fact that SportMalta had to abandon its plans for competitions to be held at the new Gozo pool and that all aquatic competitions will be held in Malta – either at the National Pool at the Tal-Qroqq Sports Complex or the new facility being built in Cottonera.
Originally approved in 2012, the construction of an Olympic-sized pool in Gozo to form part of the Sports Complex in Victoria was originally meant to have been completed by 2014.
But plans were changed every time a new Gozo Minster was appointed since then, with work having only started in 2019 and with a new completion date of 2021.
A tender for the pool’s design, construction and finishing was awarded in 2017 for a total price of €9.1 million.
While the new facility was supposed to have been an extension of the original sports complex, the project morphed into the dismantling and re-building of the entire complex – including the relatively newly refurbished sports hall – which increased costs by millions of euros.
The main beneficiary of the additional works is Poliexcel Construction – a partnership between Charles Polidano, aka Ic-Caqnu, Turkish national Kor Kurt Akin, who is known to be close to construction magnate Joseph Portelli, and James Fenech.
Asked recently by The Shift to indicate the new date for the pool’s completion, Camilleri refrained from committing to a new deadline.
Instead, Camilleri paid a visit to the site and boasted about how “with the tower crane now being removed, the panelling work continues so that the complex can begin to be closed. The piping and electrical work is well underway where the pumping area that will operate the swimming pool is practically complete.”
In the coming weeks, he said, the facade will begin to be built and that equipment for the pool has now arrived in Malta and should be delivered to Gozo in the coming days. The project’s architect Godwin Sultana also said that progress on the project was “excellent.”
Planned to miss the target date. Prosit Ministru .
This is like the ” Taghna Lkoll” “Cose Nostre” ” Transparency ” ” Meritocracy” Gahan brain impregnantion,
Is the pool already leaking? A constant flow of water is seeping onto Europe Street from the said site?
The only thing they do in time and well is filling their own pockets, break promises, lie, never give any answers when questioned, cheat , hide and protect crooks and take us for a ride.
A €9 MILLION PROJECT €7 MILLION OVER BUDGET AND NOWHERE NEAR COMPLETION. MINISTER WITH A BIG SMILE ON HIS FACE. I WONDER WHY???