International College Cayman Islands is making a comeback after a hard hit from Hurricane Ivan.
ICCI’s President Elsa Cummings said renovations to existing buildings and new additions will double the space at the school.
‘Hurricane Ivan just pushed us that much faster to accomplish what was already in the planning — spearheading a strategic review of the entire college.
‘Despite the damage, looters and numerous break-ins, work to clean up the college grounds has started,’ she said.
‘It was very painful to see over 30 years of effort and contributions from locals and overseas donors damaged so badly,’ said Ms Cummings.
She said it took her a while to fully comprehend the amount of damage done by the hurricane, but what was really disheartening was the way looters had smashed windows to remove equipment from the offices and radio room.
Ms Cummings said the drop in students after the hurricane was a result of lack of communication. ‘We still do not have a phone line,’ she said.
‘At the present time the administration offices are in my living room, which is located down the road from the school. We are in the process of making arrangements to have the college number 947-1100 transferred to my home,’ she said.
‘There is hope of moving back on campus no later than August. In the meantime students are attending classes at the St Ignatius Catholic School in the afternoons,’ she said.
The idea to keep classes there came after a meeting with the students in the campus parking lot after the hurricane.
‘About 50 students turned up at the meeting. My suggestion at the time was not to start classes yet, but to forget the fall quota until January.
‘Reports then started coming in that students were calling professors to say they wanted to resume classes.
‘In view of that, I said OK and the Catholic school was suggested and the fall quota continued there with a revised schedule.’
Ms Cummings said her deepest admiration went out to the professors who put aside their needs and managed to assist the students who were willing to go on.
Graduation, which had been tentatively set for 15 January, had to be postponed because it was not feasible.
‘Right now we are waiting for a venue to maybe have two formal graduations, one in March and one in December.’