NMI JUDICIARY RECEIVES CARES ACT FUNDING
Beginning mid-October, the front entrance of the Guma’ Hustisia in Susupe will undergo construction for a COVID-19 Screening and Security Zone, or SSZ, using federal funds provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, popularly referred to as the CARES Act. The construction project is estimated to be completed by the end of the year.
In June 2020, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, together with Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig, allocated CARES Act funding to the Judiciary. CARES Act funding is used to comply with social distancing and sanitization restrictions and projects, like the SSZ.
The SSZ will be an extension of the front door to the Guma’ Hustisia, enclosed to shield court patrons from the natural elements. It will include a queue or waiting area, large enough to comply with social distancing precautions. UV-ray light technology will also be used in the queue area and other parts of the Guma’ Hustisia to disinfect the air, surfaces, and patrons’ personal belongings. General sanitization supplies will be used to frequently disinfect the space. Designed by local architect Samuel M. McPhetres, Jr. of GUMA Architects, LLC, the SSZ will additionally serve as a security zone, incorporating scanning machines and metal detectors.
Due to the construction, an alternate entry and exit will be set up at the north end of the Guma’ Hustisia, next to Marianas High School. Court services such as the Cashier’s Office, the Clerk of the Superior Court, and the Judiciary Budget & Finance Office will temporarily operate on the second floor of the Marianas Business Plaza in Courtroom A. The Commonwealth Recorder’s Office will be accessible on the second floor of the Marianas Business Plaza as well. At all times, the Judiciary aims to comply with social distancing and sanitization health precautions.
The Judiciary CARES Act Committee was formed to ensure the timely implementation of funds and projects. The committee is chaired by Justice John A. Manglona and coordinated by Joleen T. Salas. Ryan Camacho, Department of Finance’s Financial Services manager, is instrumental in the review of expenditure of the Judiciary’s CARES Act funding.
“The Judiciary is fortunate to be a recipient of CARES Act funding. It will go a long way in ensuring the most sanitary and healthy environment for employees, attorneys, and court patrons,” said Director of Courts Sonia A. Camacho.
The COVID-19 Screening and Security Zone joins other ongoing projects, including repair of the air conditioning system and mold remediation. These projects are anticipated to be completed in the spring of 2021. (PR)