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The Malaga CF Academy starts to take shape

Image last Thursday of the site under construction.
Image last Thursday of the site under construction. / Salvador Salas
  • Work at Arraijanal has been hit with numerous delays, the latest due to the discovery of an ancient storage tank

  • The first phase of construction on Malaga CF's sports city is close to completion

The Academy project, being carried out by the Malaga CF Foundation on the northeastern part of the Arraijanal district of the city is starting to take shape.

After six months of construction, disrupted by protests from ecologists, environmental activists and political groups against construction on this unspoilt natural area of the coastline next to the Guadalmar 'urbanización', the structure of the first phase of the project has reached an advanced stage.

The entrance to the sports city complex, next to the road to the golf course, is already visible, as well as the stand, which will have a capacity for more than a thousand spectators and overlook a grass pitch (the other two pitches will have artificial surfaces).

The architect of the project, Salvador Cortés, explained that if there are no further delays, "the entrance building and the stand will be complete within a fortnight".

The construction of the stand has been delayed by the discovery of an ancient tank, possibly of Roman origin, in one of the corners. It is believed that it may have originated from one of the factories that used to exist in this area for the fishing industry.

Experts from the municipal Culture department decided to remove the tank and it will be conserved either in a warehouse or exhibited in a museum. "This has caused us a delay but we are now working on the very area where the tank was discovered," said the architect.

Underneath this stand there will be six dressing rooms which will serve all three pitches, a ticket office, a laundry room and other facilities. It will be crowned by an undulating roof which will bear the club badge so that it can be seen by incoming aircraft into the nearby airport.

In the main entrance building there will be a control centre, a cafeteria, offices, a press room and a gym. Beneath, there will be a car park with twenty spaces for reserve team players and staff. In and around this building are the remains of ancient walls which have all been documented and hidden.

Parallel to the main road, there will be another car park with around 300 spaces for cars and five for buses. At the request of the city hall, this car park will be for public use and therefore monitored and closed at night time. A new pavement will also be created to connect this car park, as well as the nearby bus stops to the Academy.

According to the licence documents, construction on the entire project, overseen by Bilba, is due to be completed in February 2019. However, it is not inconceivable that it won't be finished until spring.