It took 62 days of work around the clock by Des Raymer, managing director of EduDev, his professional team and the support staff of PPC Newlands, led by the operations manager, Clifford Dodgen, to dramatically up-size the Suite.
The facelift and increase in capacity of the President’s Suite came at a cost of R3.8 million. It included a new bar, new kitchen and increased ramps for cameras, said Dien.
“The purpose was to ensure that all the components of a high-class conference facility were present and that you can rent out the Suite at a very decent rate,” Dien added.
He spoke at the official opening at the enlarged and revamped President’s Suite. Members of the WPCA board, life members, WPCA staff and the WSB Cape Cobras players and management also graced the event with their presence.
Beresford Williams, president of the WPCA, gave the welcoming address.
Prof André Odendaal, former chief executive officer who assisted the WPCA to produce an impressive historic timeline of Newlands from its start to its current splendour, was one of the guests.
Dien also elaborated on the overhaul of the rest of PPC Newlands.
He said the revamp of all six public toilets at the stadium was done at a cost of R2.6 million.
There was also an overhaul of the media centre’s kitchen. The access control at the ticket office was improved. The construction team sunk a borehole at PPC Newlands to ensure the current water crisis did not affect supply to the iconic stadium.
A new improved PA system was linked to the operational centre, Dien added.
The WPCA also required R1.2 million to ensure that PPC Newlands was made SASREA-compliant (Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act).
There were also improvements to toilets for people living with disabilities, while two permanent dugouts were established at the headquarters of WP cricket.