The Marianas High School gymnasium has yet to be repaired since the onslaught of Typhoon Soudelor in August 2015.
The MHS gym, which used to host various sporting events and school events such as the Marianas Interscholastic Sports Organization, the MHS pep rally, and the MHS commencement exercises, is still unusable, much to the dismay of its students.
“Although damage was sustained around all of MHS’ campus such as roofs, classrooms, and whatnot, the gym, in my opinion, should have been their priority. Until now, we don’t see any change,” said a senior at MHS.
“As a senior, in the past two years, the gym was the central place. That was where we held our pep rally, our graduation, etc. For the past two years, we had to do all our events outside, which [was] very hectic. We had to worry about the weather all the time and it is just harder without the gym,” she added.
“The Physical Education and Reserve Officer Training Corps curriculum are affected. [MHS students] have to share the ROTC building [with] the [Physical Education] class, so physical activity is affected.”
An MHS junior said the gym’s equipment also sustained damage.
“All of the equipment that was inside of the gym got damaged as well because [MHS] did not do anything to protect the damaged area of the roof. [MHS] has been waiting [for funding] but by the time they were done waiting, it has all been ruined,” she said.
MHS principal Cherlyn Cabrera told Saipan Tribune that the initial completion date for the renovation of the gym was in December 2016 but, due to unexpected delays and issues, reconstsruction has yet to begin.
“I am not sure what all the issues are, but part of the issues are getting supplies and construction materials to the island and I [believe] there is another issue with the contractors. Our latest update is [construction] would start soon, within [this] month or so, and hopefully would be done by September or October,” said Cabrera.
Cabrera agreed with the students that the gym is indeed needed, adding that graduation for the Class of 2017 seems like it would not be held in the gym at all.
“We are still thinking about the [graduation venue]. We would wait and see if the gym would be done in time for the graduation. As of today, it looks like it would not be, so we would be discussing with our graduating class what the options for them are,” said Cabrera.
The MHS gym was initially completed in 2001.
The Public School System, in partnership with the Department of Public Works, Philippine Goods Inc., and the Efrain F. Camacho Architects and Engineers all worked together to build the $2.4-million facility that has three classrooms, three physical fitness workout areas, one weightlighting room, locker rooms, and shower. The gym has been closed to the public and the students due to safety issues since the third quarter of 2015.