GovGuam reviewing CoreTech lease options - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GovGuam reviewing CoreTech lease options

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - While students at George Washington High School are trying to deal with the overcrowding situation and beating the heat waiting for the installation of air conditioners to cool things down, a facility once used for the interim JFK High School campus sits idle as the government drags its feet to decide whether it will terminate the contract for good or negotiate to purchase the property.

In June of this year, Governor Eddie Calvo may have sent a letter to CoreTech International, notifying the company of the government's intention to terminate the lease for the use of their Tiyan facilities, but apparently the contract is still on the table. "That property is available for the use of Government of Guam," noted governor's chief of staff Frank Arriola. "And we've been working with the Department of Education and more importantly our own legal and financial teams that moving forward that will we provide the best deal possible for the Government of Guam and the people of Guam."   

Arriola confirms that the administration is now reviewing its options and what's affordable with the government's current financial situation.  Apparently officials will decide whether to utilize an option to negotiate and purchase the property or terminate the contract altogether. "There was some requirement for us to take a look at that, but that facility we have always believed is too valuable to sit idle," he said.

But that's exactly what's happened for the last six months since the termination letter was issued.

Meanwhile students at nearby campuses like Untalan Middle School are left to deal with leaky ceilings and flooding waiting for funding to make repairs. Students at George Washington High School are forced to deal with overcrowding and broken air conditioners.

Guam Education Board member Joe San Agustin was a proponent of utilizing the Tiyan facility as an additional campus, telling KUAM News, "We wanted to use it for overcrowding; that was impacting GW and also in the event that Untalan needed to be vacated so they could repair it." He added, "So if the Governor's Office is able to find money to negotiate and we can use Tiyan again, that'll be great to relieve the overcrowding at GW and Untalan."

While the property could be used to house government officers to eliminate rental costs, the Calvo Administration is looking to meet the needs of DOE. "We're working in conjunction with DOE to see what their needs and requirements are and to see if we can make that fit to what that facility up at Tiyan is able to provide," Arriola said.

But interim DOE superintendent Taling Taitano tells KUAM News she's only heard rumors about the potential use of the facility for DOE, but it's something she and Guam Education Board chair Francis Santos strongly support. Arriola said, "I know that we're still working on those issues and it's still an option on the table, but what I'm hoping for...we were hoping for by the end of this week to have some news for you in this regards and we're still pushing towards that we want to close this thing before Christmas."

In the meantime, CoreTech tells KUAM News the property in Tiyan is ready for school use.  Chief financial officer Chit Bathan says the company is very open to what is best for the health, safety and welfare of the students and their teachers. She adds the government is working with CoreTech to finalize a plan. 

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