The Cayman Islands government has given an acre of land, purchased for just under $440,000, to University College of the Cayman Islands to facilitate the expansion of the university.
According to information provided by the Ministry of Education, the government purchased the property in December 2019 at the request of UCCI. In June, Cabinet approved the transfer of the land to UCCI “for nil consideration”.
“University College of the Cayman Islands has been experiencing significant growth in student enrolment since 2019. During the last academic year, we served nearly 2,000 students,” according to a joint statement from UCCI President & CEO Stacy McAfee and UCCCI Board Chairman Mark Scotland.
“The University is embarking upon a campus master planning exercise and will be determining how to best accommodate increasing student demand across technical and vocational and degree seeking students. The land will allow UCCI to expand classrooms, labs, administrative space and accommodate additional parking for our expanding student population,” according to the statement from McAfee and Scotland.
The property is located north of the new John Gray High School site and across the road from the UCCI campus. A portion of the property was used to complete the Olympic Way connector road, and the remainder was transferred to UCCI.
The Ministry of Land purchased the land from Cayman Economy Cars Ltd. “from funds allocated to purchase lands for the Crown”. The purchase price of $439,084 “represented market value as recommended by the Acting Chief Valuation Officer,” according to the Ministry.
“The purchase of this land has been under discussion since early 2019 due to the need for UCCI to expand its campus and, at the time, impending completion of Olympic Way,” according to the Ministry.
Notices related to the purchase and transfer of the property appeared in the Cayman Islands Gazette in July and August.
McAfee discussed the land donation and UCCI’s expansion plans during an interview with the Current in September. (Read the interview here.)