STATEMENT BY MINISTER FOR EDUCATION, CULTURE, YOUTH AFFAIRS, FISHERIES AND AGRICULTURE
HONOURABLE NATALIO D. WHEATLEY
DURING THE SEVENTH SITTING OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE FOURTH HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2019
TRANSFER OF CROWN LAND TO HLSCC
Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to inform the public about the transfer of crown land to the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College.
Mr Speaker, records show that over 22 years ago, the then president of HLSCC, Dr. Charles Wheatley, wrote to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour as it was known at the time, requesting the transfer of crown land to the College, an action which would help with the implementation of HLSCC’s Master Plan and facilitate the growth and development of the institution.
Mr. Speaker records also indicate that approximately 11 years ago, Dr. Karl Dawson, the then HLSCC president, also wrote to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, requesting the transfer of crown land to the institution, citing, among other things, the benefit this action would provide to the accreditation process.
Mr. Speaker, this government, the people’s government, responded to these decades’ old requests and granted HLSCC with 134 acres of crown land on the 26th September 2019. This provides the College with lucrative assets, which will present a more positive picture of the institution’s financial status. The College will have the option of leveraging its assets in developing a business model. It will also allow the possibility of infrastructural development to assist the College in fulfilling its mandate.
Mr. Speaker, I can see dormitories in the College’s future along with students traveling from around the region and across the globe; I see an auditorium and multipurpose complex, and increased classroom space. More space also would help with expanding programmes and introducing higher level degrees and even one day developing into a university. With the transfer of such assets, the possibilities are endless.
Mr. Speaker, this transfer of crown land is a victory for the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College and the people of the Virgin Islands. I thank the Cripps family who originally donated the land to government and patiently waited on its transfer for the last 22 years. Mr. Speaker, This new government has done in 7 months what others were unable to do in 22 years. Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to inform the people about this important development.