PSS eyes renovation of some condemned buildings

The Public School System is looking to renovate several of its condemned buildings in several of its campuses all around the Commonwealth.

Interim Education commissioner Glenn Muña told Saipan Tribune that there are plans currently in discussion to renovate condemned buildings within the campuses of Marianas High School, Francisco M. Sablan Middle School, William S. Reyes Elementary School, and others.

Saipan Tribune previously obtained documents pertaining to several PSS infrastructures to be demolished, including estimated costs for the service.

Specifically, the documents noted that Building C at FMS, which is “structurally unsound” and has already been condemned, would cost PSS about $30,000 to demolish.

Hopwood Middle School’s LMA Building and Building V, both considered “unsafe for use in its current condition” and requires further structural assessment if both are to be salvaged, would set PSS back about $85,000 apiece to have it demolished.

WSR’s maintenance building and old auditorium would cost $85,000 to demolish, while MHS’ Building T South would cost the same for demolishing.

Rota’s Dr. Rita Hocog Inos Jr./Sr. High School’s old mechanic building, which is a property of PSS, is also recommended for demolishing and is estimated to cost $50,000.

In total, PSS is expected to cough up an estimated $420,000 to cover the demolition expenses.

Muña noted that once demolition takes place, PSS is looking to repurpose either the buildings or the space for something else.

WSR’s auditorium, for example, could serve as additional parking space for the school after demolition, he said.

MHS’ building has been condemned since 2015’s Typhoon Soudelor. Muña told Saipan Tribune that his plans for that building tie in with the expansion of the “Career and Technical Education” program, or the CTE program. He further noted that the same goes for the Hopwood buildings.

“…We want to expand the CTE program, offering more courses there [at MHS],” he said. “For [FMS], we want to build more classrooms because they need more classrooms there. For Hopwood, [PSS] wants to demolish it and make it an auditorium or CTE class [expansion],” he added.

“We are also working with the Legislature,” he said, adding that PSS is exerting efforts to secure funding from the Legislature by reporting on their plans for the buildings.

“There are a lot of competing priorities, and our priority right now is to put the resources at the schools, whether its instructional materials or personnel. Majority of our resources are at the schools. These buildings are one of them,” said Muña.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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