DOE on the clock to move out of Tiyan - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DOE on the clock to move out of Tiyan

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Guam Department of Education may be faced with yet another dilemma, as the agency has until the middle of this month to move of all its equipment out of the old Tiyan building they once used. If not, the landowner says they might end up paying for using the facility for storage.

It was almost one year ago when DOE's safety administrator deemed the Tiyan building unsafe and condemned it, causing the staff to relocate to Chief Brodie Elementary School. The issue at hand today is that the agency did not remove several items such as computer monitors, towers, and even vocational education books.

"Everybody's accountable including the board members, we're all accountable for what we say and what we do or the lack of what we're doing," said GEPB board member Joe San Agustin.  He added that the solution is simple, saying, "The Department of Education should, if its their property, go get your property, if you need to dispose of it then dispose of it properly then move on from there and not leave any of your property behind whenever you move out of anywhere."

So why almost one year later and the items are still on the condemned location? DOE Superintendent Dr. Nerissa Bretania Underwood says they just had nowhere else to put the items, telling KUAM News, "They didn't have space to store them before they were surveyed for the General Services Agency, so they were kept upstairs, but all of them are no longer working."

While Underwood says the dozens of computers and other electronic items can no longer be used, stacks of textbooks also remain in the moldy structure - books Underwood admits the department is no longer using.  "That area used to be occupied by Curriculum and Instruction, and sometimes they get sample books and at one time we actually had a the Division of Vocational Ed, but that no longer exist," she said.

Even if its broken computers and outdated textbooks, the department is now up against a deadline to have it all moved out.

Property owner John Camacho (who declined an on-camera interview with KUAM News) says he had his attorney speak with the DOE legal counsel to ensure that the agency moves out the junk soon without touching the items that belong to the building.  "It was our attorney that notified by their attorney about three weeks ago that we would have to vacate the buildings," he said.

Camacho also expressed his frustration as he is trying to sell the property for about $6 million, which is why he says DOE shouldn't have left the area in such poor conditions.

While the property owner is trying to avoid any legal matters by working with DOE to have their items moved out by mid-February, he does say that he is considering charging them back-rent from the time DOE moved out for using the facility as storage. In the meantime, the superintendent says she is working quickly to have the items moved out, and letting her attorney handle the rest of it.

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