JFK's momentary joy replaced with frustration - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

JFK's momentary joy replaced with frustration

by Heather Hauswirth

Guam - Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Nerissa Bretania Underwood's excitement about Superior Court Judge Arthur Barcinas' decision was short lived, as she said she's disappointed about the Guam Community Improvement Foundation's decision to appeal.  "Initially when we were informed the OPA had prevailed in courts we were very happy because we thought that we could get started, it wasn't until about an hour later that we were informed that they will go on and appeal to the Supreme Court," Underwood said. 

Understanding that it's the students who suffer in the end - JFK High Senior Class President Ilone Llagas says as upsetting, as the news was for her especially as a senior she and her classmates will not stop fighting.  "It was horrible to find out that we might have to wait longer for our school to be built, but it's also motivation for us to keep moving to get what really want," she told KUAM News.

Dr. Underwood adding that her support lies with the students, teachers and stakeholders at JFK and says she is frustrated at the amount of time the impending litigation will take once the GCIF files an appeal.  "From our perspective our responsibility is to make sure students are provided an environment conducive to learning. JFK is up for another accreditation visit next year and we want to make sure that those curriculum standards that must be met that we actually provide the support for them and so my disappointment there is that once again they will have to wait," she said.

The GCIF's legal counsel, Randy Cunliffe, confirmed with KUAM News that the Foundation will file an appeal of the decision handed down by Superior Court Judge Arthur Barcinas on Wednesday. Barcinas found that the GFIC had not exhausted all administrative remedies under Guam's procurement laws to bring the matter before the court and that the Public Auditor has a duty to keep all of the proposals the government received in response to the request for proposal under seal which the GCIF has continuously attempted to make public.

Still uncertainty remains amongst faculty and students who just want assurance that they will be able to go back to a place they call home. Senior Jaceline Cosby said simply, "Our hope what everyone has, to have JFK rebuilt so all the press, rallies and all our hard work is put into something that we wanted."

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