-NEWS RELEASE FROM UVI-
ST. CROIX – In a special meeting of the University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees held on Sept. 11, the Board received updates on the proposed UVI School of Medicine and Eco Industrial Park.
Board Chairman Henry Smock began the meeting with a moment of silence in tribute to the victims and heroes of the 2001 Sept. 11, attacks on the United States. Smock then presented UVI President Dr. David Hall with the legal documents that deeded a gift of 65 acres of land in Estate Sorgenfri on St. Thomas from a local family to the university.
Dr. Hall publically thanked the family, noting that a formal ceremony will be held shortly to honor family members. Smock then moved the meeting into executive session to receive the updates.
Following the lengthy closed-door session, UVI President Dr. David Hall noted that Smock wanted to involve stakeholders in thoughtful discussion about the direction of the school of medicine – particularly the location of the school’s facilities, according to UVI’s news release. As such, Smock had invited senators to join the executive session, six of whom attended, according to UVI. Dr. Hall said that both he and Dr. Benjamin Sachs, interim dean of the School of Medicine, made presentations.
“I have always said that the UVI School of Medicine belongs to the Territory and of the two facilities that will be built – one will be located on St. Croix and one will be located on St. Thomas,” Dr. Hall said.
UVI is planning to build a facility that will house classrooms and a facility for a state-of-the-art simulation center, according to UVI’s news release. The UVI Board will make the final determination on which island each facility will be located.
The board, Dr. Hall said, decided to host more opportunities for stakeholder involvement. UVI will continue to engage senators, the VI governor and other leaders, he added. Dr. Hall also said that the public will have an opportunity to voice their opinions via public forums that are being planned. Dates for the public forums have not been set.
Hall said that the board also received updates on the Eco Industrial Park – a proposed venture slated for St. Croix that will commercialize UVI’s Aquaculture Program and be open to other green technologies. After a more than five-hour meeting, the executive session lost quorum and discussion was suspended, according to UVI’s news release. A continuation date has not yet been set.
The meeting was held simultaneously on the St. Thomas campus and the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix via videoconference, with some board members joining via teleconference.