December 2018

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In 2007, The UWI St Augustine Campus had some 15,000 students and 1,700 staff. Six years later, there are in excess of 19,000 students and 3,000 staff. A university is a living, breathing organism. It’s forced to grow physically as the student population grows but it also grows organically to meet the needs of a maturing society.

Campus management pays close attention to quality standards and continually works to provide additional facilities and equipment for teaching, learning, research, student accommodation and recreation. The overall square footage of built space has increased by 30% to cater for these additional services yet every effort has been made to preserve the green space.

The UWI’s Division of Facilities Management, led by Suresh Maharaj, and Campus Projects Office, led by Senior Projects Officer Alfred Reid, have had their plates full driving urgently needed capital projects to fulfilment. Here’s a look at just some of the major projects at the St Augustine Campus.

Family Development Centre
No. 32 St. John Road St. Augustine now houses both The UWI’s Children’s Research Centre and a new Family Development Centre. This new 2-storey building covers 665 square metres and accommodates administrative offices, a meeting/lecture Hall, library/research Room and offices for Research Fellows. The centre is designed to promote a greater understanding of the contexts, processes and diverse factors within families, communities and institutions that influence the growth and development, early education, health and general well-being of children and families in Trinidad & Tobago and other Caribbean communities.
The UWI South Campus - Penal/Debe
Some 40.5 hectares (100 acres), in the vicinity of the Debe High School, has been identified for The UWI Penal/Debe South Campus. The lands are part of a gently rolling green field site previously cultivated with sugarcane. It is bound on the east by the San Fernando/Siparia/Erin Road, on the west by Papourie Road and on the south by the M2 Ring Road. The campus area will occupy 24,050 sq. metres.

An urgent need to find a home for the newly expanded Faculty of Law saw the signature building project at the South Campus allocated to house the Faculty of Law. Facilities for students, who will come from areas far and wide, include: accommodation for 100 students, recreation areas, including playgrounds and hard courts; as well as pedestrian, parking and roadway facilities.
Canada Hall of Residence - Refurbishment & Renovations
Canada Hall of Residence was the first Hall of Residence built in 1963 to accommodate 192 students at the St. Augustine Campus. Primarily two 3-storey dormitory blocks, four rooms on each floor were converted to two kitchens in 1983, reducing the number of rooms to 168. After 50 years, the time was right for major refurbishment and renovation to upgrade the hall. Existing dormitories are being extended and renovated to conform to modern configurations for halls of residence. In the first phase, the South block is receiving an upgrade of rooms including a new lobby and common areas, new furniture and fittings (desks, beds, closets, book shelves). The same will be done to the North block beginning in the last quarter of 2013. Phase 3 involves construction of a new block to house 80 post graduate students and a residence manager.
Students’ Accommodation – San Fernando General Hospital
Renovation of the existing three-storey building at the San Fernando General Hospital is done. Through the renovation, medical students with early and late clinical hours can now be accommodated in any of the 22 bedrooms.
Two lecture rooms, a general office, kitchenette, washroom and laundry facilities as well as parking spaces for 11 vehicles add to the practical and convenient educational experience. It permits for achievement of the learning outcomes, a mandatory requirement of the accreditation process.
Academy of Nursing
The team also completed renovation of the western building at the El Dorado Girls’ Youth Camp. This teaching facility, which is part of the Academy of Nursing, can provide training to nursing students at a national level on par with international standards.

The existing building is a three-storey, reinforced concrete monolithic building with approximately 16,530 square feet of usable space. It has been retrofitted to provide administrative offices, laboratories, lecture theatres and tutorial rooms. In addition, the building was modernized with the installation of new communication infrastructure (telephone and internet).
Student Recreational /Study Centre at Mt. Hope, Faculty of Medical Sciences
Construction works on this two storey building started in July 2012 and is now complete. The facility will accommodate study rooms, a computer lab and a meeting room. There is also a lounge, a gym and a minimart. The centre is expected to be fully functional later this year.
Teaching & Learning Complex
This multi-storey building includes 4 Lecture Theatres seating from 200 to 400 students, 2 Lecture Rooms seating 90 students each, 8 Tutorial/Seminar/Teaching Rooms seating 20 to 25 students each, Offices for the CETL and Specialized Biology and Chemistry Science Labs. The project is substantially complete with testing and commissioning of the services to go.
Seismic Research Building
The DFM is constructing a new three-storey structural steel building, covering some 9,975 square feet of usable space, for the 60 year old Seismic Research Unit. The importance of preserving the building and associated seismic equipment during and after a natural disaster meant that it was designed using the latest engineering codes and stringent seismic requirements. It is 80% completed and final finishes/fixtures are being installed. When completed, the facility would increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the monitoring, research and response to earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. Beneficiaries would be the English speaking countries of the Eastern Caribbean who rely on this primary source of information during any one of the natural disasters identified above.
Senior Common Room – upgrade and expansion
The UWI’s Senior Common Room will be converted into a convention centre with seating for 200. In addition to the conference hall, there will be handicapped ready male and female washrooms, kitchen space, office areas, a conference room, lobby area, janitorial space and outdoor terrace. The plan is to re-use the existing building with modifications to the structure, office space and washroom facilities.