St. Eustatius Secures Facilities and Housing for Students and Researchers

Commissioners Merkman and Spanner together with Franklin Gibbs. Photo: Statia Government

ORANJESTAD- A threat that had been looming over the research infrastructure, as well as conference and dormitory facilities for visiting students and researchers has now been mitigated.

In the presence of Island Commissioners Arlene Spanner-Schmidt and Reuben Merkman, Government Commissioner Alida Francis has signed a contract with the owner of the structure which housed the former Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute (CNSI), Franklin Gibbs, that allows for the continued availability of the Golden Rock building.

Uncertainty had risen over the availability of the dormitory, conference and laboratory facilities after the Dutch Research Council – known by its Dutch acronym NWO – ended its near decade long funding of CNSI to transition to  Dutch Caribbean Research Platform (DuCaRP). DuCaRP is a network organization for each of the six Caribbean islands within the Dutch Kingdom. While it does not conduct its own research, it facilitates, supports and promotes research on these islands.

DuCaRP is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, which itself made available to the Statia Government, a one-year transition budget that allows for the extension of the use of the former CNSI facilities.

Sought after

Statia’s unique nature and history make the island a much sought-after location for environmental and archaeological research.

In parallel with the DuCarp initiative, the facility will also be available for visiting schools, youth organizations and sports teams. The Public Entity of St. Eustatius endeavours to sustainably anchor the activities and associated infrastructure of its heritage organizations on the island.

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