The Northern Marianas Trades Institute has reportedly been tentatively approved by the U.S. Economic Development Administration for a $10-million grant that would go to the construction of a new campus.
NMTI board chair John Gonzales said a few requirements are still needed to fully release the funding to the institution.
“We’ve overcome the initial vetting and we’re tentatively approved for our grant application. I would like to say we’re excited,” he said.
According to Gonzales, the new campus will be built on a public land by the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.
“We’re excited and we can’t wait to move to our new campus soon after the grant is approved and the construction is done,” he said.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, the only requirement that EDA is waiting on is a report from the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Historic Preservation Office to ensure that no bird breeding grounds are bothered and that there are no burial grounds that could be disturbed.
NMTI chief executive officer Agnes McPhetres said that NMTI wants a new campus because the current one is flood-prone.
“We’re going to moving away from here because this is a flood zone. When it rains, we need to watch if the water is coming in. We tried everything we could to get the water out [but it’s] not a good facility. It’s not adequate for a trade school. It’s OK when you’re starting off,” she said.
NMTI is also working on applying for other federal grants aside from the EDA grant for the construction of dormitories to house local students from Rota and Tinian.