NMC unveils newly renovated building

The Northern Marianas College unveiled its newly renovated Building “K” to government officials and members of the public in a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday.

Funds for the renovation were made available through an $800, 000 facilities grant from the Office of Insular Affairs, according to Tim Lang, project partner and consultant.

Director Nikolao Pula, fourth from right, of the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs, joins NMC president Sharon Hart, fourth from left, and other federal and local officials in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the college’s newly renovated Building K on Friday. (Dennis B. Chan)

Director Nikolao Pula, fourth from right, of the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs, joins NMC president Sharon Hart, fourth from left, and other federal and local officials in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the college’s newly renovated Building K on Friday. (Dennis B. Chan)

He said $56,000 was used for Building K’s architecture and engineering design and $413,00 for its renovation and construction work.

NMC’s Building A also had its roof replaced at a cost of $186,000, he said.

“The total expenditure to date is $656,000,” he added.

The scope of work included the complete demolition of Building K’s termite-damaged roof and a complete gutting of its interior. New works included a galvanized steel roof and completely new mechanical and electrical systems.

“We’ve constructed two department chair offices, 14 faculty offices, a student services office, and a copy room,” Lang said.

According to Lang, construction began in March 2013 and was substantially completed last month.

He said the remaining funds will be used to replace the sidewalk on the building’s east side and improve its drainage and renovate the restrooms on its west side.

Officials and members of the public got to see the inside of the renovated building, with the presentation itself held in two of the building’s new classrooms that are adjoined and separated by accordion partitions.

Speakers at the ceremony included NMC president Dr. Sharon Hart, press secretary Angel Demapan, and Nikolao Pula, director of the Office of Interior Affairs.

“It just touches my heart that we’re able to have the opportunity to be with you and witness and be part of the good work we do for the renovation of NMC,” Pula said.

He called it a “rare opportunity“ to travel to the islands and thinks the funds provided was well spent.

“This is where the rubber hits the road,” he said. “[This is] for the future of education for the young people of the CNMI,

Demapan called the renovation “another significant step forward” for the college, which had its accreditation affirmed and new business degree approved this year.

He called the renovation another example of the government’s commitment to spend wisely and prudently, and to maximize available funding from federal partners.

“We’re glad to take this step forward with NMC today and in the years to come,” he said.

Hart said that, as the college grows, it important to have facilities that they can be proud of.

“We wouldn’t doubt by the year 2020, we could be as close to double the enrollments we have today. All of that is really going to require…different facilities than what we have today,” she said.

She said the college is working hard with its local and federal partners to ensure the college is equipped to deal with the influx of students in the years to come.

“This is only really the first of what we hope will be the many, many future annual ribbon cutting ceremonies that [we will be having at] NMC with our facilities,” she said.

The college worked with Tariguchi Ruth Maldo Architects and EMCE Consulting Engineers on the project.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at dennis_chan@saipantribune.com.

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