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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Kagman residents push for renovation of village’s center

The president of the Kagman Community Center is pushing for major renovation of the village facility that hosts their newly launched after-school educational program.

Daniel Huh said yesterday that the renovation plan is backed by other center officials and the community in general as the structure has not been renovated since its construction in 2000.

Huh said they hope to make Kagman the “best educational district” on island, and the only way to do this is to have a functional community center where students can continue learning beyond the four walls of classrooms.

He disclosed that they have received over the years many complaints from center’s clients regarding certain features of the structure that are already defective or out of order.

Huh said contractors estimate that the center will need $20,000 in funding for renovation priorities, which include the replacement of the screens on windows and doors; replacement of metal doors and fabricating protecting walls; repair of the existing lift; replacement of wood panels on the staircases and the stage; repair of toilets, water tank and pipes; replacement of the water pump, and repainting of the center.

Another $15,000 is needed to replace the old and unusable air-conditioning units, while close to $22,000 is needed to cover the installation of solar lights—bringing the minimum cost of renovation and improvement work to $57,000.

Huh said the Kagman community, through volunteer center officials, is seeking funding for the proposed project from the incoming 18th Legislature. “Because the Kagman Community Center does not have big funding, it is critical that we get the support of the Legislature.”

According to Huh, they already met with Precinct 5 representative-elect Larry Deleon Guerrero who promised to give his full support to the project once he is sworn in. Huh said that prior to their Jan. 9 letter to Deleon Guerrero, the newly elected lawmaker vowed to sponsor a bill that would allocate funding for the center’s renovation.

Huh said they also communicated with another representative-elect, Tony Agulto, who is also eager to help his constituents in Kagman.

Huh expressed his appreciation to all those who join them in their effort to make the renovation project a reality: the two new lawmakers; volunteers from the Northern Marianas College; Kagman High School teachers and students; Kagman Elementary School sixth graders, teachers, and parents; Esther Fleming of the Governor’s Office; and former representative Rosemond Santos for her assistance in getting furniture and solar lights from Sen. Glenn Wakai of Hawaii.

In the meantime, Huh said they are working on getting more students involved in the center’s after-school program.

“Kagman has the potential to be the best village on Saipan,” he added.

For more information about the Kagman Community Center, call 285-2221 or email kagmancommunity@gmail.com.

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