Gov’t draws on local expertise to design Vernamfield Project – University students included

The Government will be tapping into the local pool of architectural talent to design the layout for the US$2.5-billion Vernamfield Development project.

Project Manager for the Vernamfield Development, Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Derby (left), listens as Kenrick Baksh, Master of Architecture student at the University of Technology (UTech) Caribbean School of Architecture (CSA), explains his final-year project. Occasion was a visit by the Core Implementation Team of the Vernamfield Development project to the school during its 30th anniversary exhibition in June.
Project Manager for the Vernamfield Development, Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Derby (left), listens as Kenrick Baksh, Master of Architecture student at the University of Technology (UTech) Caribbean School of Architecture (CSA), explains his final-year project. Occasion was a visit by the Core Implementation Team of the Vernamfield Development project to the school during its 30th anniversary exhibition in June.

Dubbed ‘Aerotropolis Jamaica’, the project is intended to transform the Vernamfield property in Clarendon, which was previously an army base, into an aerodrome to provide international air cargo and logistics; aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services; and an aeronautical training school.

“We want our buildings to not only be aesthetically pleasing but of architectural significance and to be smart buildings”

— Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Derby, Project Manager for the Vernamfield Development, Lieutenant Colonel

For the design of the proposed Aerotropolis, which is still in its early planning stage, the project team will be calling on the knowledge and expertise of professional institutions and academia, including students at the University of Technology (UTech) and the Caribbean School of Architecture (CSA).

“This will enable it (the project) to be pretty much Caribbean or Jamaican in its look when it is done”

— Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Derby, Project Manager for the Vernamfield Development, Lieutenant Colonel

The CSA was established in 1988 to provide for the education of architects for the English-speaking territories of the Caribbean. It is a hub for research on towns and cities of the Caribbean.

Project Manager for the Vernamfield Development, Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Derby (left), listens keenly as Sana Williams (second left), Master of Architecture student at the University of Technology (UTech) Caribbean School of Architecture (CSA), explains her final-year project. Also pictured (from third left) are Master of Architecture Programme Director, CSA, Mlela Matandara-Clarke; and Programme Director, Bachelor of Arts Architectural Studies, CSA, André Baugh. Occasion was a visit by the Core Implementation Team of the Vernamfield Development project to the school during its 30th anniversary exhibition.

Project Manager for the Vernamfield Development, Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Derby, says that the Administration is looking at the CSA to “ help us in formulating our plans and to build out our airport and all the structures around it that will be networked to the airport”.

Project Manager for the Vernamfield Development, Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Derby (right), speaks with Master of Architecture students at the University of Technology’s (UTech) Caribbean School of Architecture (CSA). The students (from left), are Imani Lawrence; Kenrick Baksh; Neville Plummer; Jheanine Wiggan; and Sana Williams. Occasion was a visit by the Core Implementation Team of the Vernamfield Development project to the school during its 30th anniversary exhibition.
Project Manager for the Vernamfield Development, Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Derby (right), speaks with Master of Architecture students at the University of Technology’s (UTech) Caribbean School of Architecture (CSA). The students (from left), are Imani Lawrence; Kenrick Baksh; Neville Plummer; Jheanine Wiggan; and Sana Williams. Occasion was a visit by the Core Implementation Team of the Vernamfield Development project to the school during its 30th anniversary exhibition.

“We believe that UTech offers a skill and a capacity that will help us and reduce the extent to which we have to go overseas for the kind of expertise that we need in the development of the area. This will enable it (the project) to be pretty much Caribbean or Jamaican in its look when it is done,” he adds.

“Our young people can see a whole career in this development”

— Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Derby, Project Manager for the Vernamfield Development, Lieutenant Colonel

Lt. Col. Derby says the project team is of the belief that the proposed engagement is a good opportunity for young people to bring their creativity to a major development.

 “The good thing about the development is that it is not an overnight thing. While the airport can be built within two to five years, the development around it is going to be over the next 20 years. So our young people can see a whole career in this development,” he notes.

Senior Advisor and Consultant to Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, Bindley Sangster (left), listens with interest as Neville Plummer, Master of Architecture student at the University of Technology (UTech) Caribbean School of Architecture (CSA), explains the concept behind his final-year project. Occasion was a visit by the Core Implementation Team of the Vernamfield Development project to the school during its 30th anniversary exhibition.
Senior Advisor and Consultant to Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, Bindley Sangster (left), listens with interest as Neville Plummer, Master of Architecture student at the University of Technology (UTech) Caribbean School of Architecture (CSA), explains the concept behind his final-year project. Occasion was a visit by the Core Implementation Team of the Vernamfield Development project to the school during its 30th anniversary exhibition.

“We want our buildings to not only be aesthetically pleasing but of architectural significance and to be smart buildings, incorporating technology that exists and that will come into existence over the life of the project,” he adds.