Ada Gym to reopen

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Players do some basketball drills at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium yesterday. The facility may open for basketball and volleyball matches next week. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

The Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium has undergone minor repairs and will soon reopen its doors to local leagues.

Oleai Sports Complex program coordinator Elias Rangamar said that their staff has been working tirelessly on minor repairs that would allow local basketball and volleyball leagues to utilize the facility as early as next week.

“We’re hoping that we can open next week for leagues. We removed the stuff from the floor and water blasted it. We’re going to start fixing the lights this afternoon and we’re also going to paint the floor,” Rangamar said.

Rangamar explained that the gym has been “condemned” as a result of multiple super typhoons that have wreaked havoc on the CNMI in the past few years. However, they have decided to do something about the facility, temporarily, to open it back up to the local community.

“Majority of events, like basketball and volleyball leagues happen here, but the place was kind of condemned. Again, it’s going to take a while for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get the funding and everything and get this going, so we decided to do something so we can start using the gym,” he said.

Rangamar added that leagues have been scheduled for September and if anyone wants to book the Ada Gym for practices or leagues, organizers are free to contact him at 234-6672.

“Right now, we have something happening for basketball and volleyball. I think we have volleyball happening by September. Again, there are fees like $10 per hour for the usage and the lights,” he said.

Aside from the Ada Gym repairs, temporary fix have also been made to the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacions Ballfield, while cleanup has been done for the track and field and both facilities are open for use.

“Right now, because of baseball, we kind of fixed the fence. Again, it is just temporary. Out there in the track and field, we already have people using it for rugby, soccer, and there’s also frisbee. The track and field is also open to walkers. Right now, it is not track season but rugby is using it and even soccer. Track will probably start using it by December,” Rangamar said.

As far as the $3 million allocation from FEMA for the repairs and improvement of the entire Oleai Sports Complex, Rangamar said that they are currently following it up with the concerned government agencies. Once available, they will start on permanent repairs and they are also waiting for reimbursement for the repairs they’ve paid for.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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