Da’ok Academy to relocate to SSHS

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The Board of Education has unanimously agreed to relocate the Da’ok Academy from its current site at the Northern Marianas Technical Institute in Lower Base to the Saipan Southern High School campus.

During a special board meeting last week, all five members of the board agreed to the relocation of Da’ok Academy to SSHS because the Koblerville campus is reportedly a better fit to house the proposed facility.

Board chair Janice Tenorio, vice chair Herman Atalig, Marylou Ada, Phillip Mendiola-long, and Andrew Orsini all voted yes to the motion to relocate the campus.

According to Da’ok Academy principal Jonathan Aguon, he and his team decided on the SSHS campus because of the campus’ size, compared Marianas High School, where it used to be before it was destroyed by Super Typhoon Yutu in October 2018.

“…[The] Saipan Southern High School campus [is] large enough to accommodate the school. The other place behind MHS was deemed to be insufficient for the size of the building,” he said.

The proposed facility includes a total of five classrooms for all five Da’ok Academy teachers, two office spaces, and an assembly area that will double as a cafeteria.

Aguon added that relocating the campus to SSHS instead of MHS would provide Da’ok Academy with field space that they never had.

“[Relocating] also provides us field space that we currently do not have so that’s the reason why we identified this site,” he said.

Ultimately, Aguon said, relocating to SHSS would be better for the school’s students in the long run since the NMTI, which works in partnership with the academy, is also relocating to the south.

“…NMTI is looking toward relocating to the south and Da’ok Academy and NMTI have a strong partnership in terms of getting our students into the trades pathways,” he said.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, the Federal Emergency Management Agency allocated $1.5 million to rebuild the Da’ok Academy.

MHS was the original site for the new project.

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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