Koblerville Youth Center expansion breaks ground


Government sector representatives and Koblerville youth break ground on the Koblerville Youth Center expansion project. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

The community project to expand the Koblerville Youth Center broke ground on Wednesday and, in about 330 days, it will be bigger and more spacious.

Many government representatives came out Wednesday to participate and support the ground breaking of the newest Community Development Block Grant project.

The project was made possible through the Northern Marianas Housing Corp., which administers CDBG project grants in the CNMI.

NMHC receives over $1 million each year from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development for CDBG projects in the CNMI.

According to NMHC office manager Jacob Muña, the project would cost about $435,000 to complete and is scheduled to be done within 330 days.

“The Office of Grants and Management applied for the funding for CDBG,” he said.

The existing Koblerville Youth Center was also funded with CDBG funds back in 2005.

Muña said the end user would be the Youth Affairs Office under the Governor’s Office for dual purposes: as a youth center and as a shelter during natural disasters like typhoons.

“It’s to accommodate more of the community members. I believe this facility is being used on certain days for after-school programs. The expansion would also assist in the mass shelter for typhoon-related disasters but it’s mainly accommodating the after-school programs and any event that the community may have,” he said.

According to the Koblerville Youth Learning Center expansion and enhancement project proposal, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres collaborated with the Office of Youth Affairs to expand some of their centers to serve as a refuge during typhoons and allow the center to offer more programs for the vast numbers of youth the Office of Youth Affairs hopes to accommodate.

The next CDBG project on the pipeline will be the Kagman Community Center. NMHC is currently in the works of finalizing the details.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores 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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