SPORTS

Olympic Village is ahead of schedule

Progress of the building works at the Olympic Village for the Athens 2004 Olympics was viewed favorably by two leading officials who made a surprise visit to the project’s site yesterday. Following their visit, Deputy Labor Minister Lefteris Tziolas and Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, president of Athens 2004, the event’s coordinating committee, said that the project was ahead of schedule. The two officials noted that 35 to 36 percent of the project had already been completed, which puts it ahead of a time schedule stipulating that one third be completed by January 23, 2002. According to the project’s building plans, the village’s International Zone, a common area for the members of all competing teams, will be constructed by Olympic Village SA, a subsidiary of state-run OEK, the Public Housing Organization. The village’s Commercial Center, whose construction will be self-financed by the contractor awarded the project as part of an agreement that gives it the operating rights following the Olympiad and the Paralympics, has generated the greatest interest among bidding firms. According to the schedule, tender procedures for the project’s various zones will be completed by September this year. Officials at OEK and the Labor Ministry said that prefabricated constructions will be used to serve the needs of sections of the project that will become redundant following the two Olympic events. They added that all other buildings will be permanent structures. Details of how the complex will be utilized following the Olympic events remains unknown at this stage. At this stage, plenty of company interest has been shown for the commercial center of the village, to provide accommodation for 12,000 persons, while there has been scant interest for the remaining parts, including the athletes’ housing. Two state-run organizations, IGME, the Geological and Mining Research Institute, and OGA, the agricultural social security fund, have both expressed interest in moving parts of their operations to the complex once the Games have ended.