April 01, 2015
Construction of the first ever on-campus residential building at The College of The Bahamas (COB) is set to begin "in short order", and be completed in time for the new school year, according to COB President Dr. Rodney Smith. Smith also announced that a $2.6 million technology upgrade to the entire campus - and the Grand Bahama campus - will begin within the next week or so. The update would include personal computers, printers and an expanded wireless system throughout both campuses.
Smith added that the college is seeking a donor to assist with a $3 million data management system upgrade, which would have a significant impact on registration, bill-paying, drop/adds and all services that access technology.
"In short order we expect to begin construction of additional buildings on the campus, including the expanded GTR Campbell Small Island Sustainability Research Center, and our first on-campus residence hall," Smith said. "Living on campus will help to improve student retention and graduation rates."
Smith reiterated that what was Tucker Road - now closed - will become the gateway to the University of The Bahamas.
"We are now working towards having the entrance constructed before the start of the 2015/2016 academic year. As a matter of fact, we are in process right now of reviewing bids for the construction of our new entrance," Smith said.
He said the institution had officially launched the College of The Bahamas Transformation Project in partnership with the government and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and that the project would encompass a process of institutional strengthening and the completion of civil works.
The project is the direct result of a $16.18 million loan that the CDB is extending to the government of The Bahamas. The loan is to fund specific capacity-building initiatives at the college as it advances in its university transition.
"We anticipate that residence halls will be constructed by next year," Smith said. "Also, both the Keva Bethel Building and the Culinary and Hospitality Management Institute buildings will be energy efficient and a security master plan will be prepared as we upgrade all aspects of our university."
The COB president also said renovation of the Portia Smith Building would begin shortly. In addition to the capital works, Smith said COB will be seeking to establish the Big Pond area as an ecosystem preservation research site under the University of The Bahamas.
A state-of-the-art arts museum is also in the planning stages, with studio facilities for both fine and performing arts.
"We at the College of The Bahamas are working diligently to make sure that our country has the best institution possible, and that the environment is conducive to study with a thriving living and learning environment for our students, faculty and staff," Smith said.
Click here to read more at The Nassau Guardian