Cabinet has in its possession a proposal from the University of West Indies (UWI) for the consideration of the best suitable source of funding for the development of approximately 88 acres of lands at Hope, St Andrew.
This was disclosed by Professor Eduine Barriteau, GCM, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UWI Open Campus Grenada.
She told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that the proposal comprises different funding options in order for the regional university to proceed with the development of what she regarded as the “Hope Tertiary Education Centre.”
“We presented a range of funding scenarios that goes from fully public and private funding”, said Professor Barriteau who added that these are “off the table” options.
“We are ideally seeking a partnership somewhere in the middle – what we call a ‘sweet spot’ where we could have governmental support but involve the private sector to some degree,” she added.
The UWI Professor did not reveal a time span for the Keith Mitchell-led government in St. George’s to make a decision on the proposal put before it.
However, she said that “once we have that blessing from government” indicating that this is the way to go then “we can begin the process of shopping for funds.”
“We are not asking the government to pay to develop the project. We are asking the Government to explore different alternatives”, she remarked.
The former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Tillman Thomas, under whose watch the programme was initiated, has been calling on the two-year old Mitchell administration to give details on the status of the proposed project.
The lands at Hope, were gifted to UWI in 2012 by the Congress Government for the construction of a UWI campus.
Professor Barriteau GCM, whose tenure as Principal of Open Campus Grenada ends on April 30th said she hopes the signs of development would serve to silent rumors that the Mitchell administration, which took office February 2013, is unwilling to develop the lands.
“That is not true,” the Professor declared while acknowledging that there has been a delay.
“The development of the lands at Hope is very much on the agenda…we now have to move to the next phase, funding the project “ she said.
“Since we have been gifted the land we have been looking for a very qualified firm to partner with (and) … last year we started work with this engineering, architectural design, financial planning, project planning firm out of Trinidad – Acuitas Quantitas,” she added.
The UWI Professor made mention of a video-conference that was held January 2” focusing on “the Vision of the Open Campus” and how this Vision would “translate into helping develop human resource needs in Grenada.”
She said “a lot of background checks” had to be conducted in order to make sure that the project was fool-proof.
“If you want to do something you have to do it very well,” she said pointing out “it takes time and when we were satisfied we had something that we could deliver to the government of Grenada we then wrote and said that we would like to come and present it to the Cabinet.”