The endless summer: no definitive start date for JFK High - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

The endless summer: no definitive start date for JFK High

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It looks like classes for JFK High School won't begin this week as Department of Education superintendent Dr. Nerissa Bretania Underwood hasn't given a definitive date on when students will begin classes at the interim campus in Tiyan. There's still plenty of things that need to be done before school will be in session.

More than 2,000 students scheduled to attend JFK at the interim campus in Tiyan still don't know when they'll be starting school. The superintendent said, "At this point, again, we hesitate to project an opening primarily because we have actually disappointed the stakeholders and we've tried to project a couple of times and have not come through."

Bretania Underwood is not only waiting on test results on chlordane levels set to be release on Wednesday, but a tour around the campus this morning has her doubting the readiness of the facilities. JFK assistant principal in charge of finance, operations and administrative support Bobby Roberto says the to-do list is quite extensive, telling KUAM News, "We have about 30 classrooms that are still under construction and repair because they're still fixing air conditioning issues. We had two classrooms that were larger rooms and we had them partitioned. Those rooms are now partitioned, but they're dusty and there's a thick film of dirt all around."

Roberto added, "When we go around today and see that the same 30 plus classrooms are being worked on and we were told they'd be ready today, this makes us question the urgency and really where is the truth to any of our concerns?"

Core Tech's Joshua Tenorio says there is clearly a lack of communication between doe and his company on multiple issues. He said, "The fact that we're just getting a punch list today, hopefully this will get things going. I wish they would have just gone and done this a few weeks ago when they should've."

Items on the list include exposed wires, unassembled collateral equipment, empty electrical outlets, the installation of collateral equipment for the Guam Community College's Satellite Office, sinks need to be installed in the chemistry rooms and Core Tech needs to ensure the upstairs walkway area is safe. Roberto says in this case, the railings on the second floor is only three feet high, which could cause a hazard for the students.

Tenorio maintains that they've been working diligently with Gov Guam, despite the many issues they've had to face along the way. Issues, he says, have set back some projects on top of the lack of communication and instructions from DOE. "I think the classrooms they're talking about it being dusty, these are classrooms that were newly created because they were never in the bid specifications to begin with and we've been going back and forth waiting for some instructions for instructions from the lessor to go ahead and complete this work. And knowing that school's going to start soon, we went ahead and did it," he stated.

Tenorio says his crews will be working through the nights to ensure the work is completed. As for the kitchen equipment, doe says it's receiving help from the mayors and the military. For now, they're hoping for kings to make prepackaged meals until they have all the items they need to prepare meals.
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