The University of Guyana (UG) yesterday commissioned a new state-of-the-art lecture theatre building at the Turkeyen Campus.
UG Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith, speaking at the commissioning ceremony, expressed thanks to those who made the realisation of the building, constructed at a cost of $74 million, possible. He noted that the campus populace has a golden opportunity and an obligation to the use the facility for the purpose for which it was built and also to take care of it. He pointed out that every time the administration has to replace something, it is money not available to do something else.
Griffith said that UG is undergoing a renaissance of transformation. Against this background, he expressed hope that many others will get on board to help, including with the building of more lecture theatres on the campus.
Also speaking at the ceremony was Education Minister Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, who said the transformation of the university was very
heartening. “I am delighted to come and see how the facilities are coming along and it has become a mantra to me because we cannot afford to fail on education because if we fail on education we fail on everything else,” he added.
Roopnaraine informed that he was not entirely happy with the state of the education system in Guyana, which is why he set up a special Commis-sion of Inquiry into education, which is due to report soon on the work it began almost a year ago.
The two-storey lecture theatre building, which is located between the CBJ classrooms and the Centre for Information Techno-logy, was constructed over a year by R Kissoon Contractors. According to the head contractor, who spoke with the media, the building has the capacity to hold 350 students. The bottom flat, which has partitions, can be opened up to facilitate a large classroom of 150 students, while the top flat houses smaller classrooms that can accommodate between 50 and 60 students. The building, which has separate rooms for visiting lecturers as well as rooms for academic staff, is also outfitted with air-conditioning units, ceiling fans, facilities for projectors, public address systems and modern washroom facilities. The contractor noted that a wheel chair ramp was also provided.
Griffith noted that initial funding did not cater for air conditioning and an elevator. However, with the use of supplemental funding, the contractors were able to install air-conditioning and to make provision for an elevator, which would be added later. He also mentioned that he shared with President David Granger plans to ensure that future buildings will be made “green,” and to utilise renewable energy.
Among those in attendance at the commissioning ceremony were UG Chancellor Professor Nigel Harris, Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences Diana Gobin and President of the University of Guyana Students’ Society Ron Glasgow.