The Old Vandals Association, Alumni of the Commonwealth Hall of the University of Ghana (UG), has broken grounds for the construction of a 4,660-bed capacity Commonwealth Hall Annex project at the University.
The facility estimated at Forty-two Million United States Dollars (USD$ 42,000,000.00) is expected to deliver a fully-furnished 4,660-bed capacity, comprising 302 one-bed block, 552 two-bed block, 3,806 four-bed block, 32 two-bedroom lecture flats, 8,000 capacity auditorium and a shopping mall.
Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, the Vice Chancellor of UG, said the ceremony was important on the calendar of the University since it marked a critical step in the University's effort to expand student accommodation on campus, and add unto their infrastructural stock.
"Most importantly, it comes at a time that the Junior Common Room of Commonwealth Hall has petitioned the high office of the Republic of Ghana to address the accommodation crises on campus. On this score, I am sure the junior members of Commonwealth Hall are happy to witness this event, and will revise their notes especially with respect to their expectations from management," he said.
Professor Oduro Owusu indicated that the University of Ghana's Land Lease Committee was in negotiation with private bodies to expand housing options on campus, adding that "Approval has also been given for hostel development negotiation with a couple of other companies on a further !2 acres of UG land."
He said the Student Representative Council of the University also initiated process of embarking on a 2500-bed capacity hostel project to help reduce the accommodation deficit on campus.
Mr Isaac Nketia Sarpong, the President of the Old Vandals Association, expressed gratitude to the University Council and Management for the support in coming up with the project, the alumni of Commonwealth Hall and the university in general for the support and contribution to the project.
He said the project also included the refurbishment of lavatories and water system of the main hall, adding that, the main Commonwealth Hall Annex would be ready by the commencement of the 2021-2022 academic year.
Mr Sarpong advised students of the hall to exhibit good morals and behaviour by obeying the rules and regulations of the University.
Mr Kofi Asante, the Chief Executive Officer of KPMM, developers of the new facility, said the first phase of the facility would be completed next year September, September 2020, with a 2,000-bed capacity, as well as, the second phase by September, 2022 with the remaining 2,660-bed capacity.
He said they would execute the project as scheduled, bearing in mind quality and cost efficiency.
The ceremony was graced by the University Council and Management, traditional authorities, alumni of the university and students, notably among them was Nana Akuoko Sarpong, Omanhene of Agogo Traditional Area, Daasebre Oti Boateng, Omanhene of New Juaben, Mr Joseph Osei Owusu, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Yaw Boamah, Member of Parliament for Okaikwei Central, Kwami Sefa Kayi, Ace Broadcaster and Journalist, among others.