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Governor tours JFK High construction site

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - Governor Eddie Calvo toured the JFK High School interim facility and the construction site for the new campus in Upper Tumon. And as he learned, construction work is right on schedule.

In an effort to see the progress firsthand, the island's chief executive toured the construction site of the soon to be new and improved Home for the Islanders. The governor was joined by Department of Education superintendent Dr. Nerissa Underwood, school administrators and his education liaison Vince Leon Guerrero. The governor says much needs to be done to ensure the government gets what it needs, especially in light of the military buildup.

Governor Calvo will be leaving to Washington, DC later this month to meet with federal authorities. He says he plans on fighting to ensure funding for education is set aside for Guam. "It is so important to show them the investment that we are making in education, particularly focused on areas like Tiyan and here on career building. We have pictures taken of the annex, which is replacing this facility in areas such as culinary arts, auto and other types of vocational and carpentry," he stated.

Calvo also toured the interim campus at Tiyan. He says if DOE needs the facility after JFK moves out, he'd work to ensure the government keeps the campus to help ease overcrowding. He explained, "There's a need for classrooms and until we build or repair those classrooms, we were talking about Untalan, it's important that we use a facility that has the quality in terms of the physical plant, the infrastructure so we can have our youth study."

With the Western Association Schools and Colleges set to visit JFK High next month, principal Ken Chargualaf says they stand ready for it, saying, "They're not focused on the facility. They're focused on learning and student achievement. We have a lot of data that we have provided in the self study report that John F. Kennedy, over a span of three years, that we made a major impact on student achievement."

In the meantime, Dr. Underwood says the JFK community has been anticipating the completion of the new school. "This is something that the whole community has been looking forward to and I know there were delays - but you know what? At this point, it's almost like childbirth. You're just excited that you have a new campus," she said.

If all goes well with construction in Upper Tumon, a ribbon cutting ceremony could take place as early as July.

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