ARRA money funds tech, language programs - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

ARRA money funds tech, language programs

by Michele Catahay

Guam - The Department of Education is gearing up to spend millions of dollars worth of stimulus funds. The first batch of bids and proposals are expected to be announced sometime this week.  

The Department of Education is working to spend more than $50 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help with technology, school repairs and professional development.  In fact, DOE is looking at announcing several invitations for bid and requests for proposal later this week.

Procurement and Supply Administrator Brian Mafnas told KUAM News, "Most of them are multimillion dollar contracts. The requirement is that everything over $500,000 will go to the Attorney General's Office. A couple of the ones that are going there are the Highly Qualified Teacher, the English as A Second Language, we have some technology purchases too, fiber optics and also the Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics."  

Once advertised, it'll take approximately 15-30 days for a contract to be awarded. DOE has about 18-24 months to obligate the millions of dollars for various purposes. Even though the bids and proposals have yet to be announced, Mafnas says he has already received phone calls inquiring about it.  "We've had multiple vendors contacting us regarding when we're going to be putting out the submission deadlines and advertisements," he said.

While DOE is looking to expedite the processes, a group of architectural and engineering firms have been assessing the schools to ensure specifications for each facility are outlined. DOE Legal Counsel Fred Nishihara says an RFP was issued for the work even before ARRA funds were finally issued.

He said, "We currently have three A&E firms that have qualified. They're going to various schools and we expect them to submit cost estimates so we can finalize the contract. Hopefully we can wrap that up by the end of this week. As a result of getting that contract in place, we'll be issuing specs as soon as the contract is in place and we'll issue out specs so we can have the schools repaired hopefully by this summer."

The group continues to make its rounds to each campus before bids and proposals are announced for capital improvement projects.

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