One of two primary shelters under the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs might not be used as a shelter once current renovations are completed.
DCCA Secretary Robert Hunter told Saipan Tribune yesterday that the Kagman Community Center renovation would take at least a year to finish, since both the interior and exterior is being renovated.
“We are going to work to try and see it designed so that it can be used as a shelter if necessary,” Hunter said.
He noted, though, that the center is being renovated to have state-of-the-art facilities such as sound and stage equipment; seating; recreational rooms; libraries; and more.
“…I am not sure it is going to be conducive as a shelter anymore because if we are putting high-tech equipment and stuff like that in an auditorium that could be used for theater and all sorts of community-type activities, I don’t know if we are going to want to stuff a hundred people in there during a disaster. I just don’t know if that is going to be the venue for [a shelter],” Hunter said.
“We are planning to set up a state-of-the-art community center there with expensive equipment for special-needs children and things like that,” he said.
Hunter emphasized that plans have yet to be finalized, however, in the event that DCCA does push through with the renovations, he does not want to see equipment damaged by “shelter use.”
According to Hunter, the Emergency Management Office designates facilities that could act as shelters in the event of a natural disaster, such as earthquakes or typhoons.