Aside from considering budgetary savings and the opportunity to offer facilities for specialized education, the usual preference of young students to attend a new school would again pose over crowding problems.
In a proposal to consider building two new high schools on Saipan, Public School System CIP Committee said the construction of one new high school will result in overcrowding, while leaving the Marianas High School under utilized.
Based on the original PSS CIP plan, Saipan will build one new high school and a junior high school.
In defending the proposal for two new high schools and convert MHS to a junior high school, the recommendation said all students would go to the older middle schools and will look forward to attending to the two new high schools.
Judging from the initial plans for the new high school, MHS plaed in comparison.
Preliminary estimates are telling the committee that to upgrade MHS to the standards of a new high school would mean additional cost and wasted resources.
It will require the demolition and replacement of buildings G, H, J and some parts of T. It will also require additional facilities for vocational education and sports.
While converting MHS to a junior high will not require any demolition jobs since the school will have smaller class sizes, it said.
It will also identify extra spaces for the PSS central office to occupy and save $200,000 a year.
Moreover, the combined planning and design for both high schools would mean reduced cost and will speed up the design phase significantly.
At present, MHS does not have enough science and computer laboratories. But its present count will work if it is a middle school since it will only require few science laboratories.
Even with its proximity with the ADA gym, MHS does not maintain a regular schedule to use the facility. It can only use the facility when there are no scheduled activities.
The MHS gymnasium, which is scheduled to be completed by year 2000, will not have space for tennis courts, track and field and soccer matches.