The new Marianas High School cafeteria, which is expected to open next month, is reportedly capable of accommodating over 400 students.
According to MHS principal Cherlyn Cabrera, the new MHS cafeteria could easily seat 418 of the estimated 1,550 students of the CNMI’s most densely populated school.
The old cafeteria, she noted, could house only about 180 students—up to a maximum of 250, including the immediate area outside.
“A lot of students just can’t eat in the cafeteria,” said Cabrera. “…They eat elsewhere from the cafeteria simply because they physically don’t fit.”
While construction of the new $2.5-million cafeteria broke ground during the second quarter of 2017 and was originally slated to finish in January 2018, the official opening was delayed, Cabrera said, due to the finding of what is believed to be an ancient Chamorro burial site.
“…The Historical Preservation Office gathered all of the remains, put it in a box…and did [another burial] here,” she said, adding that she believes the remains were reburied under the foundation of the new cafeteria.
“…All the evidence points to prehistoric [times],” she said.
Waiting for the arrival of new cafeteria equipment, such as an industrial counter, further delayed the cafeteria’s opening. “…We are still waiting for specific equipment to arrive before we are fully functional,” she said. “There are some counters that we ordered, and we are still waiting for them to arrive.”
Cabrera expects them to arrive by November.