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2012 London Olympics site clear

india Updated: Mar 06, 2008 20:54 IST

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Construction crews have cleared the site that will host the 2012 London Olympics Aquatics Center, and will begin building the 22,500-seat venue by August.

"The transformation of the site for the games is on track," Olympic Delivery Authority chairman John Armitt said Thursday. Eleven industrial buildings have been demolished on the site in the southeast corner of the Olympic Park.

About 80,000 tons of soil has been dug out and decontaminated of pollutants, while another 40,000 tons of clean soil _ enough to fill nine full-sized swimming pools _ will be transferred to the site in preparation for construction.

The center will contain two 50-meter pools and a diving pool, and will host swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, water polo and parts of the modern pentathlon at the London games. "The Aquatics Center will become an important base for elite British swimmers and a new swimming facility for local people," ODA chief executive David Higgins said.

The cost of the center has tripled from initial estimates of 70 million pounds in 2004 to 214 million pounds (US$428.8 million; euro279.4 million).