January 25, 2021
With the Government of The Bahamas having recently transferred the land on which the historic Clarence A. Bain building was once located to University of The Bahamas, the University is now one step closer to the convocation centre envisioned for the property.
The condemned Clarence A. Bain Building, which has housed several government departments and agencies over the years, was razed last year, leaving the property vacant.
With the newest land acquisition, UB’s Oakes Field Campus is spread across approximately 63 acres and encompasses teaching, administrative, residential and service facilities.
In November 2020, at the University’s Media P.A.S.S. event where updates were shared on strategic priorities, Board of Trustees Chair Dr. K. Jonathan Rodgers noted that the Board was “contemplating a possible convocation center to be built on the Clarence Bain Building property”.
According to University of The Bahamas President Dr. Rodney D. Smith the land is ideal for a world-class 10,000-seat, multi-purpose convocation and convention centre constructed and managed through a public-private partnership.
UB’s Oakes Field Campus has undergone significant changes over the years guided by a master plan for infrastructure growth which anticipates a 25% increase in student enrolment from the approximately 5,000 students who currently attend. The most recent infrastructure changes for the Oakes Field Campus have included the groundbreaking for the University Residence and Multi-Purpose Complex in January 2020, the completion of the Franklyn R. Wilson Graduate Centre, G.T.R. Campbell Small Island Sustainability Research Centre, and renovation of the Portia M. Smith Student Services Centre.
UB’s Vice President of Operations Mr. Ronnie Stevenson noted that an analysis is a critical part of the planning process.
“We are still in the early stages carrying out some cost benefit analysis and expect to be working on preliminary drawings immediately after. Our progress will depend on funding which of course will depend on the economy,” he said.
A convocation centre would represent a new revenue stream for the University through bookings for athletic tournaments, concerts, special events, major educational, religious, business and entrepreneurial expos and conferences.
The ultimate aim is to strengthen the University’s capacity to fulfil its mission of supporting and driving national development while continuing to grow into a world-class, tertiary institution.
Site on University Drive and Moss Road.