Over $2.9M needed to fix schools

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Posted on Dec 18 2004

The Public School System said it needs over $2.9 million for the repair and maintenance of all 20 public schools in the Commonwealth.

In a recent letter to Gov. Juan N. Babauta, the PSS and State Board of Education again asked that a portion of the Compact Impact funds be used to address the need.

In all, PSS said it needs a total of $2,930,226 to cover expenses.

“The Capitalized School Building Repairs will provide the critically needed school facility repairs at all 20 of our public schools serving 11,599 children and their families,” said Education Commissioner Rita Inos and BOE chair Roman Benavente.

According to PSS associate commissioner for administration Dr. David M. Borja, schools have already submitted requests for repair but PSS was not able to address the matter because of lack of funds.

“[2.9 million] is a calculation of all list of projects for the schools,” he said during a telephone interview Friday. “We’ve identified repair needs and because we’re continually funded with $37.2 million, there’s a shortfall and we just don’t have the funds.”

The school with the highest requested amount is Marianas High School ($391,803), which also has the highest student enrollment at 1,154 students. Hopwood Junior High School and Garapan Elementary School are in need of $315,072 and $287,911, Kagman Elementary School follows ($259,000), while San Vicente Elementary School ranks fifth ($245,132).

Requested funds for other schools include $202,352 for William S. Reyes Elementary School; $155,499, Koblerville Elementary School; $155,159, Oleai Elementary School; $151,085, Dandan Elementary School; $123,245, San Antonio Elementary School; $119,850, Tinian Elementary School; $109,664, Tinian Jr. and Sr. High School; $89,972, Tanapag Elementary School; $77,070, Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School; $68,243, Rota High School; and $48,211, Rota Junior High School.

The four lowest requests are $15,045 for Sinapalo school; $32,431 for Chacha Ocean View Junior High School; $38,397 for Kagman High School; and $43,353 for Saipan Southern High School. These four schools, however, are the newest schools in the system.

Repairs range from restrooms and classrooms, to tables and chairs, among many others.

Meanwhile, both chambers of the Legislature finally agreed on the budget for fiscal year 2005, guaranteeing a total of about $40 million for PSS. About $38.2 million was approved for PSS, as well as an additional $1.5 million expected to be generated from the $50 labor fee increase for nonresident workers.

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