Makerere University main hall gets new look as new year starts

Makerere University main hall gets new look as new year starts
Makerere university main hall.
Makerere university main hall.

The Makerere University, main hall has kicked off 2015 with a fresh and modern look, following a facelift sponsored by the School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences. The hall has been freshly painted, the floor sparkles with a rich brown varnish comparable to fine honey. The brand new high quality furniture was flown in from the Top class of China and is a dazzling blend of the Makerere University, colours; red and green.

The University is also in the process of procuring a state-of-the-art Public Address System complete with cabinet speakers, power amplifiers, graphic equalisers, subwoofers, microphones and receivers among other components; large format projector screens and a stationary overhead projector to complete the setup all at a cost of about $38,000. These will be fitted in due course. The plan is to have blinds in the windows to reduce on the glare/dust, install air conditioners and replace the stage curtains too.

“The 520 modern conference chairs and repainting of the hall have been provided with the kind contribution of the School of Public Health at  acost of about 300ma shillings nd we are sincerely grateful to the Dean Prof. William Bazeyo. We would like to have microphones for every few chairs so that we limit this business of moving around with a microphone for someone in the audience to make their submission.  The translation box also needs to be repaired,” said the Deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of Finance and Administration (DVC FA), Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.

“Changing the look of the Main Hall has been a pending issue for some time and I am grateful that the School of Public health has weighed in on this. There are many crucial areas in the University that need urgent attention and improvement. Management is aware of these requirements and continues to devise means to address them. We nonetheless welcome such initiatives as demonstrated by the School of Public Health in improving these facilities. I am confident that it is just a matter of time and joint efforts for us to be in a better Makerere University readymade for the 21st century and comparable to no other in the region. This will take more than just infrastructure, but rather team work at all levels,” emphasised the Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu.

The color design is in line with the official colors of Makerere university.
The color design is in line with the official colors of Makerere university.

Prof. Nawangwe reveals that the School of Public Health was able to refurnish the Main Hall using funds from its overhead costs on research projects. “This College has a vibrant Grants Office, and I think the other Colleges can emulate this as opposed to entirely depending on the Centre, which is cash strapped. We pay tribute to units that have made efforts to improve their infrastructure like CoBAMS, CoCIS, CEDAT and encourage them to continue doing so. CHS has further demonstrated that a unit can support the University by providing the much-needed facilities. We will formerly launch the Main Hall new look once all the other components are in place but Colleagues are welcome to see the changes which have taken us about only two weeks to implement. We received the furniture in mid December 2014,” he adds.

The Main hall has indeed been restored to its former glory of the 1960s and 70s when Makerere University hosted trend-changing public debates. This is what Management is looking forward to. “We need to shape policy. We hope this will be the home of many policy debates and major conferences which were initially hosted in hotels. We will charge a reasonable fee for some of these as a way of generating income,” says Prof. Nawangwe.

Now with the Main Hall all looking glamorous, lectures that were initially conducted here will not be allowed anymore. These have instead been relocated to the lecture halls in residential halls of Livingstone, Lumumba and Mitchell. “The former dining halls in these places have now become lecture rooms and have been fitted with appropriate furniture for this purpose. I encourage the university Community to comfortably time table lectures in theses halls. Starting next Semester, Feb. 2015, we will not allow any more lectures in the Main Hall,” adds Prof. Nawangwe. It will be remembered that students now have joint meals in the halls of Mary Stuart, Africa, Nsibirwa and University Hall; provided through outside catering services, a policy that took effect in August 2014.

These changes are in line with creating a conducive environment at Makerere University. Other areas that will be looked at in the near future include improvements in lighting around the university, road repairs, tree planting and improvements in the general landscaping.

Story by Marion Alina, Makerere university Public Relations Office

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