Members of the CNMI State Board of Education and officials of the Public School System led the formal opening yesterday of the newly built classrooms and fence at Garapan Elementary School.
GES principal Paulette Sablan said the new classrooms and concrete fence are a shining example of what can be achieved when elected officials, PSS leadership, administrators, teachers, and parents come together for a common cause.
PSS, with the assistance of the Legislature that enacted Public Law 15-33, was able to build the two-storey building inside the campus with five brand new classrooms.
The project costs over $800,000, sourced from both government appropriation and the interest from PSS' general obligation bond. It was designed and constructed by Tanaguchi Ruth & Maiko Architects.
The concrete fence cost $154,000 using PSS' general obligation bond. It was built by DKK.
Sablan said the five new classrooms now allow the school to serve its more than 870 students inside the campus, unlike before when it used the vacant subsidized houses at the back of GES to accommodate its kindergarten students.
Being in the business and tourist hub, the school's new concrete fence is aesthetically pleasing and provides more safety and visibility for GES students, staff, and parents.
BOE chair Marylou S. Ada described the improvements at GES as a show of the board and PSS leadership's continuous dedication to “Students First.” She said the board looks forward to more investments in children's education.
According to Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan, Ph.D., the new classrooms will benefit some 120 students. She said over 100 kindergarteners now hold classes at the school's Building A.
Sixth grader Jasmine William said the newly built fence and classrooms brought excitement and inspiration to GES students.
“I feel more safe and secure now.and it's really nice,” she said. William was among the students who joined the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new fence.
Also in attendance during yesterday's rites were former members of the 15th Legislature and members and officers of the GES Parents' Teachers Association led by president Dave Attao.