Burrell Centre to host night matches and training after multimillion-dollar flood light installation
Musco Lighting’s Christopher Hansen (left) talks during Tuesday evening’s commissioning of the lights at UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence football field as Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Vice-President Raymond Anderson (second left), chairperson of JFF women’s committee Elaine Walker-Brown (second right), and Power Lighting & Telecom Director David Darling react. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

THE UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence football field is now equipped to host night matches and training after the commissioning of lights at the venue on Tuesday.

“I was impressed and I am excited it’s finally here,” Elaine Walker-Brown, the chairperson of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) women’s committee, told the Jamaica Observer after watching the lights turned on.

“It really felt good and we’re looking forward to having some late training sessions when the Reggae Girlz and other teams are in camp. And we are looking forward to having night games,” added Walker-Brown, who is also a JFF director.

The football centre’s main purpose is to support football development programmes for all male and female age groups and national senior teams.

Located on The University West Indies (UWI), Mona campus in St Andrew, it was officially opened in September 2010 by then Fifa President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, with funding provided by the Fifa Goal Project.

In June 2017 it was renamed the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence in honour of the late JFF president.

The start-of-the-art lighting system commissioned on Tuesday is said to have been funded through Fifa at approximately US$320,000.

Representatives from Iowa, United States-based manufacturer Musco Lighting and local contractor Power Lighting & Telecom said the system is rated to have met and even marginally exceeded the required average lighting intensity of 500 lux.

Musco’s Christopher Hansen gave a demonstration of the light-emitting diodes (LED) lights, sitting on four poles at the venue, being powered on and the intensity being adjusted using software application which can allow remote access and time scheduling.

Hansen, who said the company — formed in 1976 — has carried out major projects in professional stadia in the US and United Kingdom, noted the installation at the Centre of Excellence was largely a breeze.

“I was very happy with how installation went. On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the most difficult this was probably a two. I’ve had a lot more complicated projects than this,” he told the Observer.

“When we install our own poles and our own foundation things tend to go pretty smoothly. It’s when we are trying to adapt to other structures that things get more complicated. Everything was made in Iowa which gives me a lot of pride because that’s where I’m from. This is top-of-the-line lighting and I’m happy to see it come to the JFF,” Hansen explained.

Power Lighting & Telecom Director David Darling, at the commissioning alongside business partner Howard Chin, said what should have been a two-month project was mainly delayed because of sporting activities at the venue.

“While there were matches being played at the venue we had to stop all work because we can’t work with people being around [for safety reasons]. It could have taken two months but it ended up being about four to five months.

“The only other hiccup was us meeting up on a lot of rocks, because we are right beside a river bed in August Town,” Darling, who said Power Lighting & Telecom has existed since 2018, noted.

The installation at the Centre of Excellence is Musco Lighting and Power Lighting & Telecom’s second project together after they previously worked on the six-pole lighting system at Jamaica College’s Ashenheim Stadium which was officially opened in 2019. The light installation at that stadium was said to have cost between $50m and $60m.

— Sanjay Myers

Musco Lighting’s Christopher Hansen
A section of the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence football field is shown during the commissioning of the lights on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.
Sanjay Myers

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