Lewis’role significant in stadium’s progress
This past Tuesday, while strolling through a portion of the new National Stadium with Project Manager Iram Lewis, I asked a silent question.
How many other mega construction works in the history of this country have had a Bahamian project manager?
There is no need for research, I’m sure. The list would be quite small. When one contemplates the great body of work Lewis has coordinated with the Chinese officials, technical teams, and the on-site workers, it becomes quite clear that he is ample proof that a Bahamian can be successful at the highest levels of construction.
Presently, the stadium proper(the actually construction and everything inside of it)is right on target for the late June handover to The Bahamas’Government, which will then have the full responsibility for the connecting pieces of construction and infrastructure.
Lewis moved about with alertness and an eye for every detail. I saw the slight nod of the head many times. He rightfully should be proud of a job well done. We walked across the track area and noticed the water area for the steeplechase already constructed. The infield is being prepared for the field events and a surface that will be a state-of-the-art finished product for soccer and American Football. Work is going on at the jump areas.
As for the building, the many relevant rooms have been completed with windows, doors and tiled floors for the most part. The club suites at the very top of the big section of the stadium are in place and so are the generators.
There is a lot of finish work being done. You wouldn’t think so by the almost eerie lack of noise. Nevertheless, the Chinese workers are moving at break-neck speed. Lewis and his team have worked incredibly well with the Chinese element and the product at hand is a glowing tribute to the unified effort.
It seems a natural fit that Lewis and his associates remain at the forefront throughout the rest of the project segments that have gone out for bids, the connecting electrical, plumbing, technological works, the roadways, parking lots, landscaping, etc.
There would be continuity of a kind that would certainly be missing if new players are brought into the picture to replace Lewis and those who have been working so well with him over the last four years. The team has been outstanding.
Lewis, National Stadium Committee Chairman Thomas Robinson and company are to be congratulated. As this significant phase winds down, they can all be satisfied in a job well done. Lewis and Robinson have shared a lot thus far into the project. They share something else that many might not know.
Robinson, Kevin Johnson, Norris Stubbs and Bernard Nottage made up the first Bahamian sprint relay team to crack the 40 seconds barrier with their 39.4 effort at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Lewis, Renward Wells, Andrew Tynes and Dominic Demeritte sprinted under the 39 seconds barrier with their 38.98 finish(the current national record)at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
Hopefully, their relationship with the National Stadium project will continue to the very end of all the phases.