Government granted H. Lavity Stoutt Community College 134 acres of Crown land on Sept. 26, which HLSCC presidents have been requesting for more than two decades. (File photo: GENEVIEVE GLATSKY)

Government granted H. Lavity Stoutt Community College 134 acres of Crown land on Sept. 26, according to Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Minister Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley.

Last Thursday in the House of Assembly, Dr. Wheatley said HLSCC presidents have been requesting such a transfer for more than two decades.

Twenty-two years ago, he said, then president Dr. Charles Wheatley wrote to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour to request the transfer of Crown land to help implement HLSCC’s “master plan” and to “facilitate the growth and development of the institution.”

Eleven years ago, Dr. Karl Dawson, another HLSCC president, made the same request, explaining how the action would boost the college’s accreditation process, the minister explained.

Now, he said, these requests have been granted.

“This provides the college with lucrative assets, which will present a more positive picture of the institution’s financial status,” he said. “The college will have the option of leveraging its assets in developing a business model. It will also allow the possibility of infrastructural development to assist the college in fulfilling its mandate.”

He went on to say that he envisions dormitories housing students traveling from around the world to attend HLSCC, along with another auditorium, a multi-purpose complex, and increased classroom space.

The added acreage, he said, would also allow the college to expand its programmes and offer higher level degrees with the potential to one day develop into a university.

HLSCC Acting Interim President Dr. Richard Georges said yesterday that about 120 acres of the land are located on the western hillside overlooking the college, and 13 acres consist of the land where the culinary and marine centres are located.

“The college is grateful to the Cripps family for their donation and to [government] for facilitating the completion of this transaction,” Dr. Georges wrote yesterday in a message to the Beacon.