UWI to build new Irvine Hall for students

Saturday, February 11, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Principal of the University of the West Indies, Mona, Professor Archibald McDonald says construction of a new hall to replace Irvine Hall, will not negatively affect students who have expressed concern about the cost of housing in recent news reports.
Professor McDonald says the decision to rebuild the hall came after residents and students complained about the state of facilities and sought the intervention of the university’s administration. 
“About two years ago we started looking into requests by students and residents who complained about the state of the hall and this also involved consulting the Guild of Students. 
“As you know, there is a high demand for housing on campus but there have been cases where students refused to live on Irvine Hall because of the state of the buildings,” he adds.
Irvine Hall was the first hall built on the Mona campus, in 1950. McDonald said various assessments were conducted in the last two years to see whether repairing or upgrading was a feasible option. However, he said the cost to effect repairs is equivalent to building a new hall.
UWI entered into a Public Private Partnership with student housing developer, 138 Student Living, however, the rate of the Hall’s fees will have to be approved by the UWI Council, the principal says.
Guild president Michaela Gonzalez, who met with the principal, says she is satisfied with the discussion and assurance given by the school administration and principal.
Professor McDonald says the other traditional halls — Taylor and Chancellor Halls will not be demolished.
Balford Henry
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