Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has revealed that the replacement for Ross University is expected to be officially announced soon.
Late last year, after suffering the ravages of Hurricane Maria, Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) shut down its operation in Dominica and move its operation to Barbados from January 2019.
RUSM was located in Portsmouth and was a huge source of income for the island’s second town and the country, by extension, for the past 40 years.
The prime minister said during a Cabinet visit to the north of the island on Wednesday that an agreement has been signed with the new investor and the new university will offer more than Health Sciences.
“We have in fact signed an agreement with an investor to start a medical school and also other programs. We will sign the lease agreement with them very soon but we have already given them access to the property. About three months ago, we gave them access to the property so they are doing some repairs, fixing the air condition units, getting the classrooms ready,” he stated.
Skerrit said they have employed staff, deans, faculty, and they have been recruiting students and are waiting for things to be crystallized in order to release an official announcement.
“The developer, jointly with the government, will make an official public announcement giving more details about this but for us, we’re not happy about this ourselves as a government but we’re happy for the people of Portsmouth and the many people who benefited from the university here and many of them who have mortgages especially the apartment owners,” he explained.
He said they have a five year lease with the investor with the option to purchase the campus after the five years would have elapsed.
“So we are working very closely with him, we went through the licenses. Once those things have settled we’re hoping God willing, by the grace of God we’re hoping that we can start the university soon but again in the next few weeks there will be a formal presentation to the public with more details,” he said.