Soccer red card
Changes still haven’t been made to Bay Roberts facility
What should have been a simple procedure in the renovation of the soccer field in Bay Roberts has now entered the legal arena as the BAE-Newplan Group in Mount Pearl and Concord Paving in Carbonear attempt to settle a dispute over accountability.
As both companies lawyer up, caught in the middle of this struggle is the Town of Bay Roberts and the hundreds of young soccer athletes in the area.
“Essentially, Concord is denying responsibility,” said Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood.
For those caught between the two large companies, the situation has entered into the realm of the worstcase scenario.
“It looks like the season could be lost on that field this year,” said Wood.
Prior to the problem with the soccer field, Wood said there were plans of a possible showcase of high-level provincial soccer happening at the field.
“We had hopes to host some tournaments and to host some Challenge Cup games,” he said. “It’s another opportunity lost.”
Being the mayor, Wood is forced to look at the problem from different angles. Not only does he see the athletic quandary his town finds itself in, but also the economic hit the town would take because of the loss of games.
“There is a spinoff effect. Not only is the field not being used, but it also means people that are coming to visit the area are not taking advantage of our businesses,” he said. “Everybody losses then.”
Wood said he was excited to perhaps take in some of the top soccer in the Newfoundland and Labrador.
“I’d love to go down there and watch a Challenge Cup game,” he said. “There are endless opportunities that you can avail of if you have the facilities and, of course, we can’t avail of any of those.”
e entire situation surrounding the project “extremely frustrating.”
“Our young people are being denied access to a facility that Bay Roberts paid good money for, and it’s frustrating because it is different from what I was originally led to believed would happen this summer to be repaired and possibly used this year,” he said.
The original complaint the town had about the soccer field revolved around a problem with poor water drainage, making it uncomfortable for players during wet conditions.
After the BAE-Newplan Group conducted tests on the soil, it was discovered that the layer of soil underneath the grass had been done incorrectly.
It was anticipated that work on the facility would have started by this point, and finished by the middle of next month, but as of late last week, there were no timeline for completion. Not concerned with who did it Bay Roberts is not concerned with who is responsible or what went wrong.
“As I’ve said from the beginning we just want it fixed and sooner rather than later,” said Wood. “It’s a major disruption to our recreation program and a major inconvenience to all who want to use it.”
The mayor said that the town still has a warranty on the field and it is still going to be fixed, according to the town’s engineering firm.
“We don’t know who is responsible. We aren’t taking sides here,” said Wood.
A call by The Compass to the office of Concord Paving was met with laughter and “no comment.”
In the meantime, BAE-Newplan Group has given Bay Roberts a “sizable dollar figure” in order for the town to “put in some hasti ly arranged upgrades” to the soccer field behind Ascension Collegiate.