Some $80 million in donations from the Jay and Sylvia Sobhraj Foundation will be used to upgrade what is popularly known as the Spicy Dish building at the University of Guyana’s Campus into a modern centre for Behavioural Studies and Research.
This is the first major gift by a private individual or foundation to the University of Guyana, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Paloma Mohamed said during a simple ceremony at the Turkeyen Campus on Wednesday.
The Jay and Sylvia Sobhraj Foundation is based in the United States and was founded by Guyanese-born Jay Sobhraj and his wife Sylvia.
The Foundation has over the years made generous donations to local religious organisations, schools and even the Guyana Police Force.
Following negotiations, the University of Guyana, the Foundation decided on this specific project.
“I myself was fortunate to have a very good British education and it was made possible by grants and donations from various foundations…so today is one day I can say thank the dear lord I can share what I received from others with my hometown,” Sobhraj stated.
The building will be equipped with a bookstore, student gym, medex center, prayer rooms, a food court and counselling center.
The building will also house a constellation of programmes such psychology, social work, criminology and psychiatry.
It will also have four soundproof state-of-the-art lecture rooms and a seminar room.
The design for the new building was done pro bono by former student Sheldon Williams.
The University of Guyana hopes to have the renovations completed in time for the new semester in September.