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Consultancy Contract signed for new USP Solomon Islands Campus

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L-R: His Excellency Mr Patteson Oti, Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Fiji; Mr Rovaly Sike, Kramer Ausenco (SI) Ltd’s Country Manager; Professor Richard Coll, USP’s Acting Vice-Chancellor and President and Mr Rafael Nadyrshin, ADB Procurement Specialist following the contract signing at the Laucala campus.

The contract signing for the Architectural, Engineering Services and Construction Supervision consultancy between The University of the South Pacific and Kramer Ausenco (Solomon Islands) Ltd as part of USP’s Solomon Islands campus extension was held at the Laucala campus on 3 February, 2017.

The contract was signed by Professor Richard Coll, USP’s Acting Vice-Chancellor and President and Mr Rovaly Sike, Kramer Ausenco (SI) Ltd’s Country Manager, who will also be Deputy Team Leader and Resident Contract Engineer in this consultancy.

Professor Coll said that it was an auspicious occasion for USP and the Solomon Islands as it marks the beginning of a project that was first raised many years ago.

Stakeholders from USP, Kramer Ausenco (SI) Ltd and ADB after the contract signing at USP.

“It is also only befitting given that the Solomon Islands is the largest USP member country in terms of land area and second largest in student enrolments,” he noted.

He acknowledged the support of the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency Mr Patteson Oti who has been very instrumental and the Solomon Islands Government for the speed in which it facilitated the process of identifying and formally granting to USP the site for the new campus.

He also acknowledged the massive role of the Asian Development Bank in this project.

Professor Coll said although it had taken a while, “we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel and we are also pleased to have Kramer Ausenco (Solomon Islands) Ltd providing this consultancy service to USP”.

“We have previously worked with the firm on other projects, the most recent being USP’s expanded and new campus in the Republic of the Marshall Islands which we hope to officially open in a few months. The firm had also undertaken a short-term consultancy in early 2015 for USP at our originally earmarked campus site (Doma) in the Solomon Islands,” Professor Coll noted.

Mr Sike said, “we had a really good synergy in terms of negotiating the contract and as a former USP student I am very happy to be a part of this project”.

“USP is one of our important partners in the region and we are happy that we are part of this planning process that will enhance the education of not just the students from the Solomon Islands but also those from the rest of the Pacific,” he stated.

“And with the latest technology we can add value to it especially with renewable energy which is something that we are very keen to getting into and support,” he said.

Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency Mr Patteson Oti said the contract signing is another step closer in the process to the Solomon Islands government’s goal of achieving their objective of providing an expanded and modern education facility for higher education for its growing youth population and, particularly, women throughout the Solomon Islands. .

“The end is in sight but there is a lot more to go through. It has certainly been a long time coming and I know that a large number of students in the Solomon Islands cannot wait for this project to be completed as we will need to accommodate the growing demand in the country,” he stated.

“As a representative of the Government of the Solomon Islands in Fiji I have been part of this project over the past five (5) years and I look forward to continuing to support USP,” he said.

HE Oti added that other institutions such as Solomon Islands’ premier secondary school, King George VI High School which will be adjacent to the new campus will benefit immensely from this investment in terms of accessing and sharing of the facilities.

Mr Jaindra Karan, Director Development, Marketing, Communications and Alumni who chairs the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) for the ADB loan project thanked the members of the PIU, Solomon Islands Taskforce; Kramer and the ADB for the timely conclusion of the contract.

Approximately US$1.65m from the ADB loan is being set aside for the consultancy which will see Kramer Ausenco (SI) Ltd undertake the following:

• detailed design of the new campus buildings and facilities (around 6,000m2 in total), infrastructure and services;
• assist USP in the procurement of a civil works contractor;
• supervise the construction work to be undertaken by the civil works contractor; and
• oversee and monitor the work to be done during the Defects Liability Period.

Furthermore, Professor Coll said the expansion and upgrading of USP’s existing campuses in the region is a very important goal in the Strategic Plan 2013-2018 and is reflected as a key initiative in Priority Area 5 (Regional and Community Engagement) of the Plan.

The loan from ADB, he said, has a direct link to the Strategic Plan as the first output of ADB’s investment in the Higher Education in the Pacific Investment Programme is to “Strengthen regional campuses of USP with the construction or upgrading of classrooms or accommodation facilities in selected regional campuses”.

“We sincerely hope to have the new campus fully operational by mid-2019,” he said.

He noted that a second output of the ADB Investment Programme with USP is to have “Enhanced ICT-based education with upgrading of ICT equipment and improvement of ICT-based learning programmes”.

“Given the wide expanse of ocean between our 12 member countries it is inevitable that the only means for effective learning and teaching to students in our widespread member countries in the region and even internally within each member country can only be done through investment in ICT equipment,” he said.

USP’s new Solomon Islands campus, which is being funded by the Asian Development Bank through a soft loan and a grant for renewable energy, will be provided with ICT equipment, allowing students to learn through face-to-face, distance and flexible learning (DFL) or blended methods.

Following finalisation of contract documents by USP with ADB, Kramer Ausenco (SI) Ltd is expected to commence its assignment later this month.
 


This news item was published on 3 Feb 2017 03:09:57 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email communications@usp.ac.fj


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