GCTU Gets New Groundbreaking Gatehouse
The GCTU Gatehouse expansion project has been handed over to the university following the completion of construction works. The gatehouse which is one of a kind among universities in Ghana was handed over at a ceremony on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2023.
The project which is the brainchild of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa, was to give the university an entrance and exit point that is befitting of its status as the Technology Centre and Silicon Valley of Ghana.
The Director of Works and Physical Development, Surv. Gordon Baapiri, who supervised the project gave a brief background to the project. He said his Directorate was tasked last year to redesign the gatehouse which was very small and too close to the main street and make it befitting of the new mandate of the university and the vision of the Vice-Chancellor to turn it into the Silicon Valley of Ghana. “With that in mind and guided by originality, we took advantage of the unique topography of the entrance space and came up with this design”. He assured that the design was unique and original and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
“I am confident that it will serve as the new face of the university into the future,” the Director of Works and Physical
The contract was thus signed on 25th May 2022 following a competitive tender which Amonu Engineering and Construction Ltd was selected. Construction work started on 14th June, 2022 and took about nine months to complete.
The Director of Works and Physical Development disclosed that his Directorate monitored and supervised the construction strictly to ensure that prevailing industry standards and specifications and the requirements of the university were met.
The Silicon Valley of Ghana
With the gatehouse completed, the Silicon Valley agenda of the university; to turn it into the technology hub of Ghana and West Africa, is firmly on course.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa, was elated about the outcome of the project which he said was a “dream but now a reality”.
The VC described the project as one of a kind in the country and lauded its quality which he said looks better than the artistic impression.
“This is the face of the Silicon Valley of Ghana. This looks even better than what we saw on paper. It looks even more impressive from the outside.
“If you see the aesthetics in the evening, it is fabulous. We have given our institution a new face which will signify our new mandate and vision of developing a Silicon Valley for Ghana” Prof. Afoakwa added.
He revealed that the Ghana Police Service has approached the university with a request for one room in the gatehouse to be physically present to beef up the security on campus.
Prof. Afoakwa gave credit to the Directorate of Works and Physical Development, the contractor and the team of engineers and architects for the impressive outcome of the project. He also commended their resilience and tolerance in the face of incessant pressure.
“You have endured so much stress from me over the past year or more to get the architectural drawings and other things done. I know you are under-staffed but the work needs to be done.
“We need to change, develop and grow, therefore, we won’t look at our challenges but how we can progress in spite of the challenges”, the VC added.
He also reserved compliments for the staff of the university for playing their part in the quest to realizing the vision of the institution.
“Thank you for your support and cooperation in building this great institution – we can’t take that for granted”.
The VC stated that this latest project is just the beginning of a beautiful journey to positioning the university as a centre of academic excellence, adding that “we are going to grow from strength to strength”.
He hinted that once this project has been fully taken over, attention will turn to the cutting of the sod for the construction of an eight-story office complex which is expected to be completed in about 18 months.
The VC declared his determination to see the full realization of the Silicon Valley agenda with the support of every stakeholder saying, “we are fortunate our vision is supported by H. E. the President as well and I know that we are committed to supporting each other and working hard to move this great institution forward”.
Prof. Afoakwa cut the tape to symbolize the formal acceptance of the project and presented the contractor with the certificate to signify the completion of the work.
Amonu Engineering and Construction Ltd (AECL) who constructed the gatehouse has been around for over 23 years. They specialize in projects for educational institutions and have undertaken numerous projects for the University of Ghana, Takoradi Poly Technic and Kumasi Poly Technic among others.
Speaking on behalf of the Contractor, Mr. Ebenezer Bonsu, a Manager at AECL, expressed delight at the opportunity to add GCTU to their long list of clients in the educational sector. He was also happy for the support and collaboration they enjoyed from the technical team from the Directorate of Works and Physical Development.
“A lot of collaboration went on between us and the technical team to be able to achieve this” Mr. Bonsu said.
The gatehouse which is a two-story structure has offices and washrooms on both floors for the comfort of security personnel. It also has a disability access way in compliance with the Persons with Disability Act 2006, (Act 715), which mandates all public buildings to be made accessible and available to persons with disabilities. The contractor was happy that they incorporated the disability access into the construction.
“The disability access is very important because there are many institutions which do not have it. It is very friendly and easy to use”, Mr. Bonsu added.