SIBU: This central region town will soon be able to host national and even international sporting events once the RM39mil indoor integrated sports centre is completed in March 2016.
Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, who officiated at its earth-breaking ceremony yesterday, said the indoor stadium would be one of the biggest in the state, and possibly the country, as it would have a seating capacity of 4,250.
The 10-acre project, which is located next to the former site of the airport, is expected to be ready to host some of the events of the 2016 Malaysia Games, which the state is hosting.
It will be built by turnkey contractor Woodville Sdn Bhd while the Public Works Department is the implementing agency.
The stadium will house 10 badminton courts, two basketball courts and three volleyball courts. Work also includes the construction of parking spaces for cars (479), motorcycles (89) and coaches (16).
There will also be a running track and a gym on the upper level to enable the stadium to be operated like a sports club rather than just a centre for sporting events.
Wong said the original cost of the stadium was RM25mil but due to the shifting of the site from University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS), it involved a higher cost.
The revised cost also included the use of suspended flooring method since the area is a low lying.
He said time was also wasted to find a new site, otherwise construction work would have started a few years back.
“This stadium will be the most modern, and better than any other in Sarawak. When it is ready, I hope the people, particularly schools, will make full use of it.”
He said with the stadium, more talented sportsmen and women would be unearthed as the town had always been known to produce athletes who had gone on to represent the state and the country.
“I would like to thank former Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud for giving us this indoor stadium,” Wong said.
In addition to the stadium, he said a RM25mil IT library would also be built at the site. Money for the project is already there.
The next project, he said, would be the technology park of UCTS, which would sit on a 25-acre land.
The park is not only for UCTS staff but also industry players to do research and development.
This will include three new blocks of building for UCTS and a convention hall, a hostel facility and more parking lots.