Sports Center Was Open for 12 Years without Health Permit

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The Sports Complex in Nicoya was built in 2002 to host the National Games that the city had organized. Since its creation, it has lacked permits, at least from the Ministry of Health.

On March 17 the facility’s administration was notified by Health that the complex would be closed, as it had been determined that the building did not comply with various laws, including Law 7600, which deals with handicapped individuals, the Law on Granting Sanitary Use Permits and other, related laws.

Marco Jimenez, mayor of Nicoya, was irritated by Health’s actions, considering them unjustified. “The Ministry doesn’t close Pedregal, but they close the sports complex, where we’ve just had the National Games, and where the International Swimming Federation, the Costa Rican Swimming Federation, the Costa Rican Sports Institute and other qualified organizations did rigorous studies, even of the water in the pool. What Mrs. Xinia Cordero [Director of the Ministry of Health in Nicoya] has done is bothersome and damaging,” said Jimenez.

On the other hand, Roger Araya, a member of the administrative team at the complex, admits that Health’s actions are correct. He clarified that the facility meets all of the requirements, but that Health is requesting that they correct the situation with the operating permit. “This sports complex never had an operating permit and the Ministry of Health notified us regarding that. We are already presenting the necessary documents to comply with that request,” he indicated.

The health inspection was done in September of 2013, which is why the majority of the negative points taken into consideration are invalid, as this year the pools were remodeled for the National Games and swimming sports in general.

In a visit on April 9, The Voice confirmed that, despite the order to close issued by Health, the Sports Center continues to be open to the public, and that it hosted the Chorotega Swimming Cup tournament on April 11.

Josue Rojas, in charge of the pools, said that everything is functioning normally. “My boss told me about that [the order to close], but he said that there wasn’t a problem – that the pools would continue to operate normally, and that they had given us a week to respond to the notice and nothing more,” he explained.

The Voice consulted the Technical Department at Health to clarify why they based their decision on an outdated study when the Sports Center had recently undergone improvements to host the National Games, and why Health waited until now to intervene at the facility, if it has been operating for twelve years.

Despite many attempts at contact, Health did not respond.