Oleai Sports Complex repairs in early 2020

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The broken windows at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium may be fixed starting early next year. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

The renovations and repairs needed at the Oleai Sports Complex are expected to begin in early 2020.

Oleai Sports Complex program coordinator Elias Rangamar said that the improvement covered by funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency may take place in January 2020 because bids for the project have yet to be open.

“It’s not going to start until sometime next year, probably not until January. Bids have not been put out yet for the project,” he said.

During the Northern Marianas Sports Association monthly meeting last Thursday, NMSA official Laurie Peterka said that the last update she received on the project was that FEMA and the CNMI are currently in the negotiation stage.

“The last that I heard was that in the end of June, there was a reconciliation between the CNMI government’s assessment and the federal government’s assessment and they were walking on the table to negotiate the difference between the two assessments. The federal government’s assessment said it was only supposed to be $1 million, while the CNMI government said it was $11 million and so they were negotiating,” she said.

Peterka added that the last thing she was made aware of was that the CNMI government has been trying to determine one of three routes that will be taken in the project.

“This is on the CNMI government and it’s out of NMSA’s hands, about which of the three options within FEMA that would be accepted. Option one would be to put it back exactly the way it was. Option two would be to do some small additions that would be basically hardening the existing structure into something a little tougher and a little more resilient to another storm, and the third option was a complete do over with the funds, but it would be under particular circumstances,” the Northern Mariana Islands Volleyball Association president said.

The Oleai Sports Complex was hit by a typhoon in 2015 and just when it was about to undergo repairs last year, Super Typhoon Yutu struck Saipan and battered anew the already dilapidated facility.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista 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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