Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

June 4, 2008

YOG village will be completed by Feb 2010

Filed under: General — Propertymarketupdates @ 3:55 am

It will be 4-5 months ahead of schedule because of ‘green lane’ status

THE Youth Olympics Games (YOG) village will be ready by February 2010 – four to five months ahead of schedule, thanks to the government giving the project ‘green lane’ status.

This means that there will be plenty of time for fitting out and testing, well ahead of the Games opening ceremony on Aug 14, 2010.

Various government agencies have agreed to work together and give greater priority and resources to the project at the new 19 ha University Town campus of the National University of Singapore (NUS).

The agencies will speed up approval processes, anticipate problems, resolve issues with consultants and contractors, among other things.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA), Urban Redevelopment Authority, National Environment Agency, NParks and the Land Transport Authority have been roped in so far.

NUS deputy president for administration Joseph Mullinix, who chairs the University Town development committee, said that the government’s decision to step in has helped eliminate many barriers.

‘The biggest one is time,’ he said. ‘This project is very large. You are talking about 25-storey buildings on a very compact site, and in a very short timeframe. This is a time of heavy construction activity in Singapore, so we needed to be sure we could attract the best contractors.’

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) docked several points off Singapore’s score when it bid for the YOG last year, citing concerns over the island’s ability to complete the Games village on time.

But doubts were cast aside when Singapore’s YOG committee reassured the IOC in December last year that there would be no hiccups with construction or red tape.

Poh Yu Khing, director of the Sports Hub project, said: ‘The IOC looks at construction of major projects around the world all the time. When they saw our University Village project and the time line, naturally they had question marks. But we explained how our construction industry stands out – it is much more certain and is always able to deliver on time.’

He cited factors such as Singapore’s weather, which allows construction to be carried out most of the year, extended work hours and expanded foreign quotas the government can grant for strategic projects.

BCA, the coordinating agency for University Town, is playing the role of ‘goalkeeper’ to ensure that the technical needs of all the other agencies are complied with.

Hardly any changes were made to the original design of the University Town after it was confirmed that it would be the site of the YOG village.

The only significant addition, said Mr Mullinix, is a dining hall that will be set up to accommodate all 3,500 athletes and the officials during meal times. This is a temporary structure that will be taken down when the Games are over, he said.

Piling work has already begun at University Town, after a ground-breaking ceremony in February.

The campus, going up on land that was the Warren Golf Course, will cost between $500 million and $600 million to build. After YOG is over, the campus will be used by NUS students who will live, learn and socialise under the same roof as their professors.

A two-level bridge across the Ayer Rajah Expressway – the upper for cars and lower for pedestrians – will link the town to the main NUS campus at Kent Ridge.

Source : Business Times – 10 May 2008

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