‘Multiple federal agencies involved slow down construction phase’


Construction work on many of the buildings that will be built at the As Terlaje campus of the Northern Marianas College is taking so long to start because several federal grant agencies are involved, according to NMC president Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero.

“So it’s just making sure everything is calibrated because what we don’t want to end up doing is having to pay back any money because we weren’t following grantor requirements,” said Deleon Guerrero in an interview shortly after the groundbreaking ceremony last Tuesday for the hazard elimination project at the intersection of Chalan Monsignor Road and Antonio Apa road near NMC.

Keep in mind that these new facilities are something that have never been attempted in the entire Marianas because they will be using federal funds and working with multiple federal grant agencies, he added. That involves the U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Education, Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery, and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

While there’s not much of a problem with local agencies, Deleon Guerrero said that getting all these federal agencies to “kind of work in concert” is challenging. He said it’s a lot of alignment because different federal agencies and grant agencies have different grant requirements.

“…I call it hurry up and wait. We hurry up with a lot of everyone, with a lot of the agencies and then it’s like, maybe one agency, there is always this,” he said.
For NMC’s first building, the Student Center, Deleon Guerrero said their goal to have a groundbreaking is this coming semester. The Student Center is included in the seven-phase facilities master plan that the NMC Board of Regents approved last year. The plan includes conceptual designs and proposed constructions of new classrooms, offices, and other facilities.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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