BY: ORETHA BUNDOO
Liberia: Renovation works currently ongoing at various campuses of the University of Liberia is almost far from official completion as the University President estimates up to 2024 and beyond.
The four Million US dollars (US$4M) project was triggered by the STUDENTS’ ultimatum of a genuine, conducive and hygienic environment for achieving better learning objectives. The dilapidated campuses of UL forced Administration decision to renovate the university following prolonged protestations.
The US$4M covers repairing, restoring and reconstructing existing and new infrastructure of the University.
Answering to the Students’desire, UL President Dr. Sarwolo Nelson in a press conference recently acknowledged that Government has made an initial funding of three hundred seventy-five thousand United States Dollars (US$375,000) to jumpstart the first phase of the renovation.
This means the resumption of classes has been delayed for additional weeks due to work Currently being carried out. Official classes are expected to begin on June 27, 2022 as stated by Dr. Nelson.
Reason for the change in schedule is due to current renovation work taking place on various campuses and further based on the Students decision of not returning to classes until the campuses are renovated.
“We are acting on the request by the students which is very necessary for everyone, so they need to be little more patient in order to have a conducive working and schooling environment for all, haven’t had an opportunity to consult with engineers and technicians in charge of the renovation. Therefore, I regret to announce that the June 6 date scheduled for the resumption of classes is not possible, a new date of Monday, June 27, 2022, is now set for the resumption of classes at the University of Liberia”, Dr. Nelson asserted.
He indicated that the fact that school year did not commenced June 6, 2022, there may be rescheduling of some major activities. “There will be no graduation this December 2022, but with the appropriate adjustments, graduation will take place between February and March 2023”.
The UL campuses renovation work is carryout in collaboration with four (4) Ministries and Agencies, namely: General Services Agency (GSA), Ministry of Public Works, the Engineering Battalion of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE).
Dr. Nelson mentioned that GSA and Public Works are leading the first phase of the renovation, which affects the Capitol Hill campus, and later extent Fendell.
The first phase of the renovation covers rehabilitation of restrooms, drilling of boreholes and the erection of water towers for the supply of water in various restrooms, and various plumbing works at key facilities on Capitol hill.
Meanwhile, renovation work has been completed on the FQ Building on Capitol Hill, which houses eleven (11) classrooms, thirteen (13) offices and three (3) restrooms, including a restroom for male and female, as well staff, and each restroom has four (4) compartments.
Renovation work has also begun at the Tubman Hall (TH) Building consists of eighteen (18) classrooms, forty seven (47) offices and eight (8) restrooms for male, female, and staff. Each restroom has three (3) compartments.
The University President however stressed that one of the perennial problems that inconveniences teaching and learning on Capitol Hill is the lack of adequate water supply in bathrooms.
The task of remedying this problem was assigned to the Ministry of Public Works. A search for water was conducted using the vertical echo sounding (VES) to identify possible locations for the drilling of boreholes.
Public Works has also commenced road works on the Capitol Hill campus. The sections of the road to be repaired are: the area at the back gate coming from the Stella Maris campus, the road divider in front of FQ, the driveway leading to the Cassell building, the front of the main gate coming from the Capitol Building to the end of the driveway leading to TH. The areas have been marked off with white paint to ensure compliance.
Aside from the Capitol Hill campus, other facilities include Fendell and Sinje among others.
The University of Liberia is the oldest state and only run University in Liberia with thousands of students acquiring higher education. The Pronouncement of Pres George Weah free tuition across all public universities, increases the number of students to the State-run University based on the current economic constraints faced by many.