DPHSS, EPA, GFD inspect new JFK - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DPHSS, EPA, GFD inspect new JFK

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - The new John F. Kennedy High School has been a labor of love for its administration and contractor International Bridge Corporation. The school is another step closer to opening after today's inspections by the Department of Public Health and the Guam Fire Department. Last month the school received temporary occupancy permits for Phases I and II, which consist primarily of administrative offices, the library, and classrooms.

According to DPHSS Acting Environmental Health Supervisor Marilou Bumagat, Phase III - which consists primarily of classrooms and Phase IV, which consists of the school gym and cafeteria - were the focus of today's visit. "For today's inspection we are only clearing Phase III and part of Phase IV we are not clearing the school cafeteria kitchen and also the gym," she said.

Bumagat says the school's cafeteria kitchen is lacking equipment, with the exception of a walk-in chiller and freezer. Bumagat adds that inspected classrooms today showed no deficiencies and that DPHSS will come back to re-inspect the cafeteria and gym at IBC's request. "According to the contractor the gym won't be ready until September maybe the late part of September, and the cafeteria won't be done until the end of next week," she added.

IBC project engineer Masood Namazi says the island's humidity is delaying the installation of the gym's flooring and that in the meantime is being utilized for storage.

GFD is also visited the Upper Tumon campus today to test the sprinkler and fire alarm systems. Meanwhile, the Guam Environmental Protection Agency continues to test the school's water. Once these agencies signoff on clearances, the Department of Public Works can make the final inspection for temporary occupancy permits for Phases III and IV.

Until then, Masood says his crew of almost 300 workers putting on the final touches. He said, "This school is like a child that is newborn so we have to raise it; we have to get everything in place, no problem. These are the final touches."

One of these final touches is landscaping for the courtyard with the addition of dozens of benches. Masood is proud of every element of the school, from its design to its top-quality equipment. Each classroom is supplemented with a self-contained indoor air conditioner, locally produced cabinetry, personalized green and yellow JFK desks, and a public address system. For Masood, the completion of JFK is monumental, as he and his crew have invested more than a half-million manhours.

He explained, "We are hoping that kids are going to appreciate what they are going to get 'Don't Put Graffiti' on the wall. It's a brand new school and we try to choose very happy colors to give them a happy environment to make good students and study hard  and get to college from here."

The school's ribbon cutting is scheduled for August 20, and students will start classes with the rest of Guam Department of Education on August 22.

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