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.

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.

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) Caribbean School of Architecture (CSA).

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, shared 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”.

“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.

In June, Lt. Col. Derby, along with team member Bindley Sangster, who is Senior Advisor and Consultant to Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, visited the CSA’s 30th anniversary exhibition, and engaged in discussions about a possible collaboration with faculty members as well as students who had their work on display.