Gov't signs on to CDB grant for UG library
Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan on Tuesday signed a Technical Assistance Grant with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for the infrastructural enhancement of the University of Guyana’s library. On March 1st this year, the University of Guyana (UG) and the CDB had signed a separate agreement on the initiative. A release from the Ministry of Finance yesterday said that other signatories to the agreement were President of the CDB Dr Warren Smith, and the Vice Chancellor of UG, Dr Ivelaw Griffith.
The US$149,985 ($31.4m) grant was approved by the Board of Directors of the CDB at its Annual meeting held in March this year. It will finance a comprehensive assessment of, and prepare final designs and scost estimates for the construction of a modern, “gender-responsive, socially-inclusive and environmentally resilient facility”. This grant will also help to tackle the adequacy and suitability of the current infrastructure. The new library will be sited on a plot of land west of the current library. The Government of Guyana and UG will contribute approximately US$26,000 towards the full realization of the project. Over the years, the release noted that UG has had difficulty accessing funds to maintain the present library, its other buildings and to build newer buildings to accommodate its growing student population. Despite this, the release said that UG has made incremental changes to the library including the removal and disposal of asbestos from certain areas in 2009; the building of a fire escape in 2010; the renovation of the roof of the new wing of the library and the grilling of windows in the general reading room in 2012; the rewiring of the library in 2015 and the physical upgrade of the learning resource centre in 2017. However, the release said that the library still suffers from infrastructural challenges and weaknesses in staff capacity.
The infrastructural enhancement project which will start immediately will be executed by UG through the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Planning and International Engagement. A Project Steering Committee will have responsibility for the coordination and overall guidance of the project. In March, when the UG/CDB agreement was clinched, UG Librarian, Gwyneth George said the new building will have a layout which caters for both collaborative and independent spaces She explained that in designing the building UG will focus on incorporating technology in such a way that both a space for learning and creating will be realized.
UG to get new, modern library
The University of Guyana is slated to get a new, modern library, with funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CBD), the Government and the University finalized technical aspects of the project. In a statement Wednesday, the Ministry of Finance said the library will be a “gender-responsive, socially-inclusive and environmentally resilient facility.” The Ministry said the CDB had approved US$149,985.00 in grant funding for the project, while the Government and the University will contribute approximately US$26, 000. The funding will go towards the preparation of final designs and cost estimates. The new library will be situated on a plot of land west of the current library.
The agreement for the project was signed on Tuesday by Minister of Finance Winston Jordan, President of the CDB Dr. Warren Smith and the Vice Chancellor of the University Dr. Ivelaw Griffith. The Ministry of Finance noted that over the years, UG has had difficulty accessing funds to maintain the present library, its other buildings or to construct newer buildings to cope with its ballooning student population.
Despite this, the Ministry stated that the University had made incremental changes to the library including the removal and disposal of asbestos from certain areas and the rewiring of the building. But these improvements still left the library with other infrastructural challenges. “The infrastructural enhancement project which will begin immediately will be implemented by UG through the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Planning and International Engagement. “A Project Steering Committee (PSC) will have responsibility for the coordination and overall guidance of the project,” the Ministry stated.
Minister Jordan, Dr. Griffith and other senior functionaries of the Ministry of Finance are currently attending the 48th Board of Governors meeting in Grenada. The Ministry noted that the partnership between Guyana and the CDB most recently resulted in an agreement by the Bank to lend its resources with that of the United Kingdom/Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF) to fund the waterfront renewal in Georgetown; upgrade the first phase of the Linden to Lethem Highway; and construct a bridge across the Essequibo River at Kurupukari.
The Ministry said too that the CDB has also committed an estimated US$6.145 M to the 9th Cycle of the Basic Needs Trust Fund, which will be expended on projects and activities that contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic growth, reduce poverty in poor and rural communities, improve access to critically-needed services.
Article adapted from: https://newsroom.gy/2018/05/30/ug-to-get-new-modern-library/
CDB $31m grant launches process for new UG library
The University of Guyana (UG) yesterday signed a grant with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for just under US$150,000 ($31m) to begin the process for a new library while government has provided US$26, 000 towards the project.
The US$149,985 grant which has been provided under the bank’s technical assistance programme will fund a seven-month design and costing exercise which is the first phase in the construction of a modern library which will have less shelves and more computers.
According to University Librarian, Gwyneth George the new building which will be located west of the current library will have a layout which caters for both collaborative and independent spaces
She explained that in designing the building UG will focus on incorporating technology in such a way that both a space for learning and creating will be realized.
Spaces where people are free to sit where they wish and converse, special rooms and special equipment where students can prepare tutorials or design projects as wells as an Auditorium to teach librarians so that they can better assist student to access online learning material such as electronic books and journals are expected features of the new library.
George explained that since a 1997 assessment found the current library to be lacking the department has included a request for a library upgrade in every annual report and she is excited to finally see work being done.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Barbara Reynolds explained that the construction will be done in two phases with CDB’s grant being specifically earmarked for the first phase.
“While we have a conceptual layout we will have a team of civil and construction engineers do the highly detailed technical work. We will then have Drawing and Designs [at the end of seven months]. We anticipate that very soon you will see in the newspapers calls for expression of interest to provide these designs,” Reynolds explained.
CDB Director of Economics Justin Ram further explained that the Bank is aware of the constraints and deficiencies of the current library which prevent it from operating at an optimal level and is pleased to assist in addressing one of these primary constraints, poor infrastructure.
“Under this technical assistance grant a comprehensive assessment will be undertaken to determine the adequacy and suitability of the current infrastructure [and] final designs and cost estimates for construction of the new library will be prepared,” he said, noting that the CDB is “optimistic that this process will place the University further along the path to having new facilities that are environmentally resilient, socially inclusive and a place of study and lifelong learning for the men and women who attend this institution.”
Once completed the building will be “big enough” for the needs of the university community and have facilities for those members who have special needs.
The current Library building will then undergo an assessment of structural integrity.
“Providing it is structurally robust or can be made structurally robust it will be repurposed,” Reynolds noted.
CDB grant to help fund modern UG library
The University of Guyana [UG] library is poised to become a hub for learning and innovation. Moreover, the Caribbean Development Bank [CDB] has not been opposed to lending financial support to the national university to realise this goal. Representatives of UG and CDB at a simple ceremony in the Vice Chancellery, UG Turkeyen Campus, announced that a grant of US$149,985 [approximately $30M has been approved to bring to fruition the construction of a new library.
With modern designs, the library, which will be situated on a plot of land west of the current library, will see a contribution from Government and UG amounting to approximately US$26,000 [$5.2M] towards the project. Speaking on behalf of CDB yesterday, Director of Economics, Dr. Justin Ram, described the support to the library as yet another initiative of the bank to collaborate with UG and by extension, Guyana. Dr. Ram noted, “CDB is pleased to be supporting Guyana in making progress on Goal Four as outlined in the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda – ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting life-long learning.”
Even as he labelled the Technical Assistance Grant as another milestone in the bank’s partnership with the Government of Guyana and UG, Dr. Ram noted that recently the bank had made available another grant to the university to enhance a regulatory framework to improve its operation. “[Yesterday] announcement signals that this institution is one step closer to the construction of a new library, towards improving the quality of education this campus delivers,” said Dr. Ram.
Through funding from the CDB grant a comprehensive assessment will be undertaken to determine the adequacy and suitability of the current infrastructure. Dr. Ram said that final designs and cost estimates for the new library will be prepared. But according to him, “We are optimistic that this process will place the university further along the path to having new facilities that are environmentally resilient, socially inclusive and a place of study and life-long learning for the men and women who attend this institution.”
According to Deputy Vice Chancellor Barbara Reynolds, the library project, which commences immediately, will be done in two phases, the first of which will be completed within seven months. Regarding the old library, Reynolds said that moves will be made to assess its structural integrity and “providing it is structurally robust then the sensible thing to do will be to repurpose it.” According to Dr. Ram, the decision to invest in the new library was nestled in the realisation that a library is important to the lives of students.
“Libraries boost learning outcomes, providing the resources students’ need to achieve success in their course work. Libraries open access to students from vulnerable socio-economic context who otherwise would not be able to afford; they can lay the foundation and provide a safe space for the pursuit of innovative ideas that can transform, not only Guyana, but our Region and our World,” said Dr. Ram. The move towards a new library comes against a backdrop of a UG library that has been fraught with many deficiencies over the years.
Even as he expressed appreciation for the support, UG Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith said, “We are all anxious to move the process with alacrity so that we can access the funding to start the various components of what we envisage, things that will be helpful to this university.” Once completed, the new library will include a number of modern amenities complete with a layout that incorporate collaborative as well as independent spaces, according to Chief Librarian, Ms. Gwyneth George. She informed that reading rooms in the new library will have a structure unlike the old library and, “we want to incorporate the technology in such a way that we create learning and creative spaces.”
Article adapted from: https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2018/03/01/cdb-grant-to-help-fund-modern-ug-library/
- The University of Guyana