Since February, the lone building in Managaha that houses the subcontractors of Department of Public Lands concessionaire Tasi Tours and Transportation, Inc. has been undergoing renovation and repair work.
Tasi Tours general manager David Igitol confirmed with the Saipan Tribune that the ongoing work on the U-shaped building began on Feb. 4 and is estimated to be completed by the end of the year.
“As the concessionaire of DPL, it is our responsibility to take care and maintain the building and Managaha,” he said in a phone interview early evening yesterday.
A popular destination among tourists and residents alike, Managaha is situated right on the edge of the lagoon and is famous for its fine white sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and the many marine activities that visitors enjoy such as snorkeling and parasailing. It is the burial site of Carolinian Chief Aghurubw.
Igitol said the existing building, which was built in 1989 when Tasi Tours began managing Managaha, is the only one remaining after two other buildings in the northern part of the island were eroded.
He said Tasi Tours' subcontractors, which are all approved by DPL to conduct business ranging from food to marine sports shops, occupy the building. At present, the building accommodates a restaurant, first aid response area, male and female bathrooms, a dive shop, an office, orientation area, and a barbecue pit.
While Tasi Tours does minor repairs on the building every year, the roof already leaks when the island experiences rain, said Igitol.
“Repair is a regular thing for us but we found out that it was going to be rather a bigger project because of the roof,” he added.
Igitol disclosed that the scope of the repair work includes replacement of the old roof with tegula ceramic tiles and the expansion of the male and female bathrooms to accommodate the growing number of tourists in the Commonwealth given the additional charter flights from China and Russia.
And because the visitor arrivals are picking up, Igitol said it's business as usual for Tasi Tours and its subcontractors.
“We're working with them,” said Igitol, referring to the subcontractors. “It would be difficult to close down the businesses. We've done this before so it's no big deal.”
He noted that the ability of HBR International, Tasi Tours' contractor for the project, to meet the completion date would rest on factors such as weather, arrival of ships that would transport the ordered construction materials, and moving those materials to Managaha.
Igitol also revealed that Tasi Tours plans to renovate the walkway from the dock to the island.