CMI expands to Port Royal
The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) is leading the charge to transform Port Royal into a university community by expanding its operations to the once quiet, historical town. The institution has grown in capacity because of increased interest and enrolment in all disciplines, specifically international shipping and logistics, customs processes, freight forwarding, and immigration and engineering.
Faced with spatial challenges, the institute has selected Port Royal to expand its campus because of its proximity to the main campus at Palisadoes Park and the existing amicable relationship between CMI and residents of Port Royal.
In addition to the new classroom facilities, new living accommodations have been provided for students, especially those from rural Jamaica. The CMI, Jamaica National Heritage Trust, and private investors recently partnered on a joint project to restore two buildings, which were occupied by naval officers, which now serve as dormitory facilities for CMI students.
These developments have been embraced by residents of Port Royal, who see the move as an avenue of social development for their community as well as staff and students of CMI. According to director of corporate planning and administration at CMI Eron McLean, this forms part of the Institute's thrust to become a university. He explains that "this forms part of our strategic plan to grow and develop the Institute. We have currently outgrown our current physical location and we believe that this will be a catalyst for further development in the Port Royal community as we envision transforming the community into a university town".
Darcia Goldson, a resident of Port Royal, who was employed at the work site, endorses the move, citing employment for residents as one major benefit of the expansion project. "A lot of us were not working, and it feels good to be involved in something like this. More visitors and businesses will come to Port Royal now."
Residents will also benefit from free CXC classes offered through the institute's School of Advanced Skills Pre-College Programme, which offers evening sessions for persons sitting, or re-sitting, CSEC examinations.
The new facilities will be officially opened later this year.