A BTVI sign has been erected in front of the abandoned Dundas and Murphy Town Primary School site, which will become BTVI Abaco. Course offerings will include construction, cosmetology and business trades. The contractor is Godfrey Rahming of Blue Wave Construction and the campus will incorporate green energy.
BTVI is weaving a network of satellite campuses across the chain of Bahama islands with the latest contract signing for renovations being held in Abaco.
The former Dundas and Murphy Town Primary School site will spring up to become BTVI Abaco, offering courses in construction, cosmetology and business trades. The contractor is Godfrey Rahming of Blue Wave Construction and the campus will incorporate green energy. The renovations are projected to span over four months.
During the contract signing ceremony on the future satellite campus site, BTVI’s Interim President, Dr. Linda A. Davis, described it as an “historic day.”
“This symbolizes in a very concrete way the importance of what we are doing at BTVI,” said Dr. Davis.
Dr. Davis acknowledged BTVI Board Director, Warren Pinder, who was not present, but is considered the “driving force” behind the project, along with Director Mark Roberts of Abaco, who was present and beaming with pride.
The BTVI vision for satellite campuses extends beyond Abaco. Renovations are ongoing in Green Castle, Eleuthera with proposed renovations in Grand Bahama and a new campus on the horizon for Exuma.
During the Abaco contract signing, a sub-contractor was in the background clearing the property. Also on property are two abandoned buildings – one of which was a part of the old Dundas and Murphy Town Primary and the other was the Strong Tower Community Church International. The buildings will make provision for a multi-purpose beauty trades space, initially inclusive of hair styling, barbering and massage therapy. There will also be a multi-purpose room to accommodate carpentry, plumbing and electrical. This is in addition to a general-purpose classroom space.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training, the Honourable, Zane Lightbourne, noted that the BTVI campus will be a part of the rebuilding of the Abaco economy following the catastrophic 2019 Hurricane Dorian which left much destruction and death in its wake.
“These grounds are still a reflection of some of the damage of Hurricane Dorian, but there will be a new building and restructuring. It’s also about building hope. This is today a reflection of the progressive Bahamas. This is giving people the skills to build our own country,” said Minister Lightbourne.
“BTVI is a foundation and a pillar for our society. Vocational careers build new cities and Abaco is a little city. This brings to Abaco something that is needed within the community,” he added.
Additionally, Central and South Abaco Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, the Honourable John Pinder, expressed how thrilled he was to have a BTVI campus built in his hometown.
“The skilled workforce is helping with the growth and recovery of Abaco. You see it in the resilience of the people. New skills are being brought to Abaco; therefore, this is economic empowerment. It puts a smile on my face,” said Mr. Pinder.
Also present during the contract signing were BTVI Board Members, Christopher Farrington and Warren Berry; Associate Vice President of BTVI’s Northern Campus, Veronica Collie; BTVI’s Interim Chief Financial Officer, Sharlene Hilton; Ministry of Education’s Acting District Superintendent for Abaco and the Cays, Chester Cooper and Abaco Education Officer, Kendris Hield.
Director Roberts, who is a resident of Abaco, believes the future campus will pave the way for more opportunities in Abaco.
“It’s a great day for Abaco. It’s the start of something long awaited,” he said.