Students of Hopwood Junior High School were greeted by flooded walkways on campus during the opening of classes this week.
Hopwood Junior High principal Jonas Barcinas told Saipan Tribune that the pathways flooding has been a perennial problem at the campus-at least since he became the school's administrator four years ago.
Barcinas said that Hopwood, built some 50 years ago, needs immediate fixing in many areas, including the building of new walkways.
In a visit to the campus Tuesday, students were seen using benches and chairs to cross the flooded walkways as they moved from one class to another.
“This has been happening for many years and we're really concerned because whenever it rains, our students get wet because they have to go through these flooded walkways on campus,” Barcinas said.
He said that Hopwood needs six walkways to ensure the orderly movement of students. He estimated that about $150,000 is needed to fix this issue.
He acknowledged, however, that Hopwood has had significant campus improvements this year with assistance from the American Recovery Reinvestment Act's state fiscal stabilization fund, which awarded PSS $34.2 million in 2009.
Barcinas said that Hopwood, using ARRA monies, was able to replace all its air-conditioning units totaling over 70. The federal assistance also upgraded the school's electrical system, replaced dilapidated classroom windows and doors, and repainted all school buildings.
Barcinas said the school needs more assistance for the renovation of its dilapidated buildings A, C, D, and the vocational room.
Hopwood is home to 1,177 students.