Friday, December 31, 2010

New COB campus set to finally open in January

After months of delay, the College of The Bahamas announced yesterday that it will open its new campus in Grand Bahama on January 10, 2011, which is the scheduled start date for the spring semester.
Up to yesterday, some students were expressing frustration at what they say has been a lack of communication from officials on whether or not the new campus will be opened for the new semester.
However, in a press release issued by the institution yesterday, students are being advised to report to the new campus for classes beginning in January.
All degree programs, with the exception of the Culinary and Hospitality Management Institute (CHMI) programs, will be moving to the new building on Grand Bahama Highway.
CHMI courses, as well as Continuing Education and Extension Services (CEES) will remain at the current campus site, for the time being.

The campus was originally supposed to be open in time for the Fall 2010 semester, but although the building itself had been completed, officials said the landscaping had not met the Grand Bahama Port Authority's (GBPA) standards for the procurement of an occupancy certificate.

Days later, associate vice president Dr. Kelly Duncan-son told reporters that the GBPA should not be blamed for the delay in moving, since the decision was made internally.

In the COB statement, students who have not yet registered were advised that during the week of January 4, 2011, all advisement, registration and related students services will be carried out at the current campus site, as normal.

"These services will not be available at the new site until the start of classes on January 10," the statement continued.

It was also noted that the installation of furniture and equipment at the new campus is near completion, and information technology and other communication services are being tested and are expected to be up and running for the semester's start.

"Students should expect a further update regarding the provision of other ancillary services in the days prior to the start of the semester," the statement read.

Back in July, COB students had expressed concerns about the new campus, with College of The Bahama Union of Students president Romal Russell saying he believed there would be some challenges.

The remote location could provide issues for transportation for some students, he said, while maintaining in-volvement in student activities could prove to be more difficult.

Russell said there were many amenities that had not been in place in phase one of the relocation including a cafeteria, a student activity centre and an adequate library.

Russell said overall, however, he believes the new campus is necessary.

"I believe with the college undertaking the move from College to University status, that also is necessary and in fact, long overdue," he said.

"Not only will more students have more pride in the college institution they attend, but now we will have more capacity. Hopefully the institution will attract more Bahamian students locally, from other Family Islands and maybe even from Nassau."

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