Core Tech, DOE still negotiating JFK lease - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Core Tech, DOE still negotiating JFK lease

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - Negotiations continue between Core Tech International and the Department of Education to determine how the agency plans to use the Tiyan facility in the next several years. If DOE decides to keep the 120-day provision in the lease, either parties could terminate it even in the middle of the school year. 

For the past year, The Home of the Islanders has been housed in Tiyan, but there are still questions as to whether the lease with Core Tech International will continue.

Anonymously, the student said, "Right now, with the situation next year, they're not even sure if they're going to have a campus. For the benefit of the lower classes, I think they should have one. It's kind of hard being without a home."

Core Tech Business Development Director Joshua Tenorio says after tomorrow, the lease could be terminated by either party upon the 120-day notice.  "March 31 actually is about a month more than we should've given them. Basically in the lease agreement, there is an early termination provision which provides that either one of the parties, which is Core Tech or the Government of Guam, after the first full year, has an opportunity to give written notice upon 120 days to vacate and terminate the lease," he stated.

Tenorio added, "We're not planning on terminating it, and I don't think the company wants to - we're certainly not going to put JFK in a position for another home, but we're just waiting for the government to figure out whether or not they'll be using the campus for JFK, which was discussed."

Governor's Legal Counsel Ray Haddock recommends that doe should eliminate the 120-day provision to ensure the kids will stay at the campus and that the Core Tech doesn't exercise the termination.

For the time being, Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Nerissa Bretania Underwood says the agency's Procurement Division is currently reviewing what was submitted by the school in terms of renovations and what is needed to be addressed for next school year. She says she hopes to have that ready tomorrow, adding, "They want to ensure that it's inline with the invitation for bid that was sent out last year, so that we don't have to put out a new bid and so there we are prioritizing."

Meantime, Tenorio says his company has given DOE an ample amount of time to work on negotiations and specifications.  "We would like to see some decisions to be made and for us to be informed. if the intent for DOE is to use Tiyan for JFK, then obviously when the time is right and they can see the results on the reconstruction project for JFK, then we would want to see an exit strategy," he said.

While the last resort is to conduct double sessions at George Washington High School in Mangilao, Bretania Underwood says that's an option she refuses to utilize.  "At this point in time, we don't have a choice but to go back to the interim campus," she said.

As the Government of Guam and Core Tech continue to negotiate on the temporary fix, the Upper Tumon campus continues to rot away. The halls, which were once filled with laughter, are now abandoned. The school's legendary center court, which once held countless assemblies, is now desolate and filled with overgrown vegetation. And the classrooms, once used for instruction, are now used as storage space for equipment that could be used in other schools.

JFK parent Juan Tenorio says it's a sight for sore eyes, telling KUAM News, "It looks like a dump already. Nobody is doing anything about it." 

The contract to build the new JFK campus is held up in litigation. While International Bridge Corporation was chosen to construct the facility, the Guam Community Improvement Foundation filed numerous protests and have taken the issue to court.

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