New uses of the facilities, which remain as ‘white elephants’, include educational centers in low-income areas
Five years after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the city’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, announced this Thursday the new uses that will have some of the facilities that were built for the competitions in the Olympic Park that today is converted into a ‘white elephant’ for his abandonment.
Three coliseums will be converted into municipal schools and other spaces will be offered in concession to private initiative, in accordance with the new plan released today by the mayor.
The Olympic Park is made up of seven facilities that include the Velodrome, the Aquatic Park, the Rio Olympic Arena and the Olympic Tennis Center, all of them located in Barra de Tijuca, west of the city.
The arenas that were built for handball and for water activities will be dismantled and four schools will be built with their parts, a project that will have an estimated cost of 78 million reais (about 15 million dollars) and that according to the mayor should start in September to be ready in 2023.
The educational centers will be built in four neighborhoods in the west of Rio, whose populations are low-income and each will have a capacity for 245 students.
In Arena 3, the only coliseum that is in operation, under municipal management, it will not be dismantled but it will also be converted into a school that will house 850 students and that it will have 24 classrooms and an Olympic experimental gymnasium where classes of free sports activities will be offered to students.
The idea of converting the pavilions into schools is not new and under that criterion they were built for the 2016 Olympics, a plan that after five years is still in the air due to the inefficiency of the past municipal administration, according to Paes.
“All this should already be done, but not only the Olympic Park, but also the city of Rio de Janeiro that was abandoned by the last administration,” said the mayor at a press conference, after presenting the new plan.
According to the burgomaster, The tennis center and other pavilions of the Olympic Park will be awarded in concession to the private initiative and the tender is scheduled for next November. The mayor’s office will also build an athletics track, which will be handed over to the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB).
The Olympic facilities that were the pride of the “wonderful city” in 2016 and that cost more than 40,000 million reais (about 8,000 million dollars at the current exchange rate) are today in abandonment, deteriorated and dotted by the corruption scandals left by the millionaire diversions of public resources discovered during the works.