Ross University students at a new location after Hurricane Maria

Parliamentary Representative of the Portsmouth Constituency Ian Douglas has said that he anticipates Ross University School of Medicine will return to Dominica as there is evidence on campus to suggest so.

Following the passage of Hurricane Maria in September 2017, Ross announced in a press release that 1,400 students, faculty, and staff would relocate temporarily to Knoxville, Tenn. to continue their program of study.

“I still anticipate Ross will be back because of the evidence on campus,” Douglas said. “We see the construction of classrooms and buildings.”

According to Douglas, he doesn’t think that the investors at Ross University would have commenced reconstruction of more climate resilient buildings if they had no intention of returning.

“We are very happy for that,” he stated.

He pointed out that in the first phase the school authorities have indicated that the students in St Kitts will be moved back, “and gradually we hope that all of the students will eventually come back to the home campus at Picard.”

Douglas revealed that the government of Dominica continues to dialogue with the school authorities and there are certain things he said there are certain things that have to be put in place.

“Like the infrastructure, the roads, the road to and from Douglas Charles, the road to and from Picard to the hospital, the completion of the hospital and you know that the Chinese will be back on that in full gear, the security and the internet infrastructure around Picard for classrooms and classes for the students,” he explained.

He continued, “There are things that we have to do and we are working on them and the things that Ross University themselves have to do and they are certainly working on them.”

Douglas hopes that in short order he would like to see the return of Ross University School of Medicine by the January Semester of 2019.

“But I cannot speak for the University, I can only continue to implore upon them that everything is being out in place for their return,” he noted.

Prime Minister Skerrit has been banking that Ross University would return sooner rather than later.

He pointed out back in December 2017 that the government hoped “to get Ross to be back in May 2018 … we are also helping the property owners, the Dominican citizens who own properties in Picard to rebuild. That is why we have extended the loan facility at the AID Bank to the property owners so that they could have their apartments fixed, they could be able to buy some new beds – those who need beds – appliances and so forth so that they can get that going in quick order.”

PM Skerrit estimated at the time that about 80 percent of the homes Ross University needs for student accommodation was available.