Hopwood’s return to main campus in the works


Although there is no fixed timeline for it yet, Hopwood Middle School’s eventual move back to its main campus in Chalan Piao is in the works. Until then, the school will continue having classes at its temporary campus near the Koblerville Elementary School.

HMS principal Rizalina Liwag said the school’s management and officers of the Parent-Teacher Student Association continue to meet with Education Commissioner Glenn Muña about the transitioning process.

“We’re meeting with the commissioner every two weeks, or at least once a month to prepare us for the transition back to the main campus,” Liwag said.

Liwag said she is aware of the Legislature’s interest in getting HMS back to its main campus. The precinct’s House representatives, John Paul “JP” Sablan (R-Saipan) and Christina Sablan (Ind-Saipan), have vouched for the campus to be renovated for its students to return.

Liwag said they do not have a definite timeline on when HMS will be transitioned back to its main campus. In the meantime, Muña has instructed that classes continue being held at the temporary campus, as he wants the Hopwood campus to be made safe and suitable for students before moving them back.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, Liwag reported to a committee of the Board of Education last Aug. 22 that the Hopwood campus currently has 19 classrooms that could still be used. However, any plan to hold classes there right now would result in Hopwood holding double sessions.

Muña earlier stated that he would like to avoid holding double sessions at the Chalan Piao campus as each classroom would have about 47 students and that violates regulations.

In that meeting, the Hopwood PTSA complained that the temporary campus lacks certain features that would make them suitable for students. PSS also reported that it is expecting about $24 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the repair and renovation of the main campus. The project is currently on hold as PSS is still waiting for FEMA’s approval on the project worksheet for the campus.

Marc Venus | Reporter
Marc Venus is the Saipan Tribune's public health and education reporter. He has an associate degree in Applied Sciences in Computer Applications and is working on his bachelor’s degree at the Northern Marianas College. Contact him at marc_venus@saipantribune.com.

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