-As gov’t provides US$375k to kick start the renovation; says US$4 million needed to renovate the four campuses
The President of the University of Liberia, Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson, says that based on consultations with engineers and technicians carrying out the renovation of the campuses of the university, an additional three weeks is needed to complete the first phase of the renovation and therefore classes will resume on Monday, June 27, 2022.
“I regret to announce that the June 6 date scheduled for the resumption of classes is not possible. ” Dr. Nelson said, a new date of Monday, June 27, 2022, is now set for the resumption of classes at the University of Liberia”.
Dr. Nelson made the remarks on Thursday, June 2, 2022, at a press conference held at the UL’s main campus on Capitol Hill indicating the extension is due to the ongoing work.
Dr. Nelson said this first phase of the work focuses on the painting of classrooms, rehabilitation of restrooms, and the connection of water lines from wells to buildings as well as roads.
Dr. Nelson said an initial fund of $375, 000.000 was provided by the Government to jumpstart the first phase of the renovation.
Accordingly, Dr. Nelson said the current renovation exercise had raised several valid questions and concerns but paramount among them is the questions regarding the resumption of classes.
He said the work is being executed by technicians of the UL Administration as well as four agencies of the Government of Liberia including the General Services Agency (GSA), the Ministry of Public Works, the Engineering Battalion of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE).
Dr. Nelson noted that the first phase commenced on April 6, 2022, and was estimated to last five weeks based on this estimation, the UL Administration in consultation with stakeholders announced the resumption of classes on June 6, 2022.
He said the GSA and Ministry of Public Works are leading the first phase of the renovation, which affects mainly our Capitol Hill campus, and to a lesser extent, Fendall.
According to him, the first phase covers key facilities at the UL Capitol Hill campus, including the rehabilitation restrooms, drilling of boreholes, and the erection of water towers for the supply of water in various restrooms, and various plumbing works.
“Buildings on Capitol Hill that have been affected include the Firestone Quadrangle (FQ Building), the Tubman Hall, Robert Hall, and the Samuel Greenleaf Hall,” Dr. Nelson said.
“These buildings are by themselves now-iconic because of the number of years they have performed the singular function of serving as the citadel of teaching and learning at this institution, from which thousands of students found great solace in the rectangular classroom spaces they offer,” he said.
He said while these buildings and structures hold many cherished memories and recollections for many of them, however, it is so saddened that many of these very structures dearly revered have never been a subject of any serious and massive renovation or repair for more than three decades since the founding of UL in 1951.
Dr. Nelson said if these buildings mean anything to UL and if they are still as relevant to the present generation as they were to the past, then it is now imperative that as managers and custodians of this great institution do something about the delipidated state of these buildings and entire campus of one of Africa’s oldest Universities.
He said the MoU, in pertinent part, requires the Government of Liberia to provide funding and thus it was estimated that more than US$4 million dollars are needed to fix, repair, restore and reconstruct existing and the new infrastructure of the University of Liberia.
The entire renovation covers Capitol Hill, Fendall, Medical School, and the Grand Cape Mount–based David A. Straz – Sinje Campuses.