UWI principal refutes reports of plans to demolish old halls

Friday, February 03, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Pro-vice-chancellor and principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Professor Archibald McDonald, has moved to clarify news reports that the university has plans to demolish the older halls of residence to accommodate new developments on the campus.
“There are no plans that I know of, and I’ve checked with the Registrar, whether there are plans to demolish Chancellor Hall, Taylor Hall or Seacole Hall. There are no such plans that we know of,” he said.
He pointed out that a decision was taken to remodel Irvine Hall due to the state of disrepair of that facility. 
“Irvine was the worst and so we took a decision to remodel, not even demolish. I’m extremely disappointed and I’m even a little bit angry because the news report was totally false,” McDonald said. The remodelling is slated for the completion in August.
McDonald said all stakeholders, including past and present ‘Irvinites’ and the UWI Guild of Students, were engaged before a decision was made to improve the hall. He added that historical monuments and buildings have been kept intact.
He indicated that improvement works are being done on the traditional halls to provide more satisfactory living facilities.
McDonald also says the institution is committed to providing an array of housing options for students residing on campus.
Refuting reports that students are being forced to pay exorbitant hall fees due to the development of new residences by a private company, McDonald said the campus offers student accommodation for a range of prices.
“So, we have $50,000 (per month) rooms, but we also have rooms for $18,000 and $19,000 in the traditional halls. There are options; that is what we are seeking to do. Most of our international (and regional students) prefer to live in the more modern halls,” he noted.

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