Despite the Northern Marianas College kicking off what is being dubbed as its first phase of austerity measures, this will not prevent the school from going ahead with plans to rebuild its As Terlaje campus.
Interim NMC president Frankie Eliptico gave this assurance, saying the college is moving forward with the recovery efforts from the Super Typhoon Yutu, including the construction of new facilities.
The U.S. Department of Education recently gave NMC a $21.9-million grant that will be used to build new structures for the students to transfer into. Right now, NMC students are having classes in temporary tents that the Federal Emergency Management Agency built for NMC for this purpose.
According to Eliptico, NMC is working on the preliminary work that is necessary before any construction begins. “We’re still going full force into making sure that the new buildings will be resilient, strong, technologically advanced and state-of-the-art to eliminate any worries from the students wondering if the school is still [going to be] there after [another] strong typhoon,” he said.
“We want to make certain that in the next 30 years we are well prepared for the future by developing and designing a campus that is going to anticipate future growth,” added Eliptico.
Since the campus reconstruction is a large project, it entails four phases that NMC will need to go through. It is currently on its first phase, which consists of a lot of planning and finalizing the design process.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, NMC intends to rebuild an entirely different campus that will feature classrooms amongst instructional buildings, computer labs, specialty labs, a student resource center, student resource center, buildings for the different fields offered by NMC (Schools of Business, Nursing, Education, and Criminal justice), student housing, and a gymnasium.
In 2019, NMC lost 37 out of its 39 classrooms, and was forced to use certain areas of the campus to make room for the faculty offices, classroom, staff offices, and other relocations. Eliptico said that NMC had to demolish some of its buildings as they were deemed unsafe for use and could not be repaired.