Contractor GEC LLC has poured a full slab of concrete for the left field bleacher area of the Paul E. Joseph Stadium in Frederiksted. The next steps will include preparation for the right field and center field concrete slab pour.
Reconstruction began in October 2021, when the Department of Public Works received approval to proceed from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“This is great progress for the territory,” said Public Works Commissioner Derek Gabriel in a release. “After many years, not only is there movement, but we now have tangible developments for our community to see.”
The Paul E. Joseph Stadium project was temporarily halted in August 2020 because of concerns about flooding. FEMA later approved a Conditional Letter of Map Revision. That is a letter from FEMA commenting on whether a proposed project, if built as proposed, would meet minimum National Flood Insurance Program standards. As a result, the project completion date was pushed back by an additional year.
The project has been in the works for nearly 20 years but has been delayed repeatedly. Gov. John deJongh Jr. ordered it put back out to bid after concerns arose about one contractor. Gov. Kenneth Mapp then killed the new contract and started the process anew. Mapp ordered work to begin in 2017.
More than $18 million has been spent to date, producing plans and preparatory work but no buildings yet.
Plans call for the new Paul E. Joseph Stadium to sit 10 feet above sea level. This $27 million project is expected to be completed by March 2023, according to Government House.