The Agape Christian School’s indoor gymnasium is scheduled to be completed by September and will feature state-of-the-art equipment that is open for public use.
Agape Pastor Kok H. Pang said the gymnasium has been in construction for nearly two years now and will open in time for the new school year and school leagues.
“It will be completed in two or three weeks’ time so by September we should be able to use it already,” he said.
Pang estimated the cost of the construction of the facility at around $800,000. He added that funding to build the gymnasium and purchase equipment came from years of savings and donations from church members.
According to the Agape administrator, the facility will include heavy-duty basketball hoops that are fastened to the ceiling, portable volleyball nets and poles, badminton mats, ping pong tables, and weights equipment.
Pang said they decided to construct the gymnasium to encourage ACS students to get active and motivate them to train better for basketball and volleyball leagues. They also want their church members to get active and utilize the gym and allow the local community an opportunity to use a state-of-the-art gym.
“Facilities on Saipan are very limited, there is only one public indoor gym (Ada Gymnasium). I know Northern Marianas College and Marianas High School had their own but after the typhoon, everything was gone. So, I was thinking, this is for our students, first, and the church members, and also maybe first-come, first-serve booking for the community,” he said.
Pang added that the facility can be utilized to hold events for the 2021 Pacific Mini Games and other regional competitions.
Meanwhile, the Agape official said he was inspired by Northern Mariana Islands Football Association president Jerry Tan and his commitment to developing soccer in the CNMI when the latter built the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.
Pang said he wanted to complete the indoor gymnasium so ACS students could continue to train in basketball, volleyball, and even badminton.
“Just like Jerry Tan, who wanted to develop football, he had to build a field in Koblerville. Without these facilities, how can you have proper games and proper training? This facility will encourage students to play sports, improve their health as a whole, and raise the standard for the students playing basketball, volleyball, and badminton,” he said.
Although the facility will be open for public use, Pang said they will charge minimal fees for maintenance and power consumption.
“I’m open to having people come in, but at the same time, we have to maintain it. We need a proper booking system and whichever teams come to use the gym, they can chip in. We need to maintain the power, the floor, and equipment. I also have workers to help clean the facility, because I want our building and equipment to last at least 30 years,” he said.