Sports complex expansion takes small step forward


Plans to renovate the Eastern National Sports Center into Thailand’s main venue for disabled athletes took a step forward, albeit a small one, with a city committee recommending spending 13 million of the 3 billion baht Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome originally proposed.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh met Feb. 27 with Surasith Thongjan of the Paralympic Committee of Thailand, Udomchok Churat of the Redemptorist School for People with Disabilities, and Samrit Chaphirom, manager of the Disabled Persons Rights Protection Center.

Even the sign is falling apart at the new stadium.Even the sign is falling apart at the new stadium.

The meeting was called after plans to make improvements to the Soi Chaiyapruek 2 complex were sent to the Pattaya Technical Office. The city council now must act on plans to move forward with the second phase of the center’s development, which would add facilities for the disabled.

The project would add two buildings to accommodate competitions and training in 10 sports, including table tennis, wheelchair basketball, volleyball, goal ball, boccia, badminton, wheelchair sword, swimming and shooting. Two residential buildings, one outfitted for the disabled, also are planned.

Itthiphol in September requested 3 billion baht to transform the sports complex into a host site for the Paralympic Committee of Thailand. The committee wants the new facility to offer a swimming pool, care fitness center, training programs, ramps, accessible restrooms and doctors living on the premises.

Funding for the project remains in question, however, as Itthiphol earlier diverted money earmarked for construction of a football field to cut trees, plant flowers and otherwise beautify Pattaya Beach. More than 560 million baht is needed to complete the stadium and budget for completion of the entire athletics compound totals about 800 million.

Construction of the buildings would cost about 13 million baht. The deputy mayor forwarded his recommendation on to the Pattaya City Council, which must approve the plan before any construction begins.