The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the iGreen Engineering and Property Development Company Limited for the construction of a 2,500-bed hostel facility to reduce the accommodation deficit of the university.
The iGreen students' hostel project, which is to be constructed at the cost of $17.9 million would comprise both open and private learning rooms, recreational and shopping facilities, among others.
Other features of the facility include a solar system for power generation, broadband access to all areas and LED lighting systems.
In addition, the facility has also been designed for the production of gas from human and organic waste to power the facility.
The construction of the facility is expected to begin by the end of this year and is estimated to be completed in September 2023.
Per the Build Operate Free Transfer (BOFT) agreement between the two institutions, the iGreen company will run the hostel for 30 years and afterward, transfer it to the university.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, and the Managing Director of iGreen Engineering and Property Development Company, Isaac Gyau Duah, signed for their respective institutions.
Currently, UENR has a population of about 11,500 students, however, the university has only a 1,500 hostel capacity to accommodate its students.
Thus about 10,000 students, who have been offered admission to pursue various courses, have to struggle or compete for accommodation around the vicinity of the university.
The situation always gets many students at the university stranded as they have to go through torrid times to find accommodation on the campus or in nearby homes and hostels.
Prof. Asare-Bediako said the MoU was welcoming news because the accommodation deficit in the university had become a headache to management.
He was convinced that the completion of the project would bring relief to both students and management and also give the university a facelift to enable it to attract more students.
Prof. Asare-Bediako said the university was committed to the project and appealed to the iGreen to demonstrate a similar commitment to ensure that the facility was completed within schedule.
Mr Duah told the Daily Graphic that the company after signing the agreement would resolve all issues and concerns identified during a meeting that preceded the signing of the MoU.
He was optimistic that the revision of the project would not change the cost and style of the facility.
Mr Duah said the starting of the project would depend on when they would complete the reviewing and financing issues and expressed the hope that it would not take too much time to conclude.
For his part, the Board Chairman of the iGreen Company, Kojo Biney, said the facility had been designed to ensure that all common areas were replicated on the ground floor to provide access to the physically-challenged persons.