Officials tour Tiyan facility - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Officials tour Tiyan facility

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - While Untalan Middle School staff and faculty begin working out the logistics to move to Tiyan later this month, representatives from Public Works, the Guam Fire Department and the Governor's Office toured the facility to ensure the integrity of the structure as it could be home to more than 1,100 UMS Wildcats in less than one month.

Officials had some concerns but they're confident CoreTech will address them expeditiously. Today's visit to CoreTech's Tiyan facility by DPW and GFD had one primary focus - to ensure the structural integrity of the building was intact. Public Works Director Joanne Brown told KUAM News, "They do need to address areas where you have rusting rebar and they do have area and they have initiated chipping to clear those areas out already, but we would like to see those things properly repaired because of course just for the safety of anyone here you don't want anything falling off or falling on or injuring the students. So far, those things are relatively minor and if they can be readily repaired then we can move forward."

While today's visit wasn't a full-fledged inspection, official did note cracks on the roof and columns and missing door locks and exit signs. GFD fire prevention officer Captain Gerard Terlaje says some progress has been made, but it's clear the facility isn't ready for occupancy for educational use right now. "There are no extinguishers in this whole facility, that's obvious, there are some minor exposed wires but they staged it like that for the lighting to test them, so we're anticipating that they have a plan in place and the school should be ready as soon as they work out the discrepancies," he said.

GFD previously noted that the buildings must be evaluated by qualified structural engineers and are properly repaired before issuing a green light for the use of Untalan Middle School. CoreTech has since hired an independent structural engineer to help in the assessment of the facility. While a report was compiled in 2009 outlining how the not-so-severe deficiencies could be easily fixed and the facility deemed structurally safe, CoreTech will provide a supplemental report to allay any recent concerns and DPW will ensure the necessary repairs are completed before kids occupy the facility.

"Considering the fact that the shift was made fairly recently to perhaps reoccupy this for Untalan Middle School, the fact hat they're already out here doing repairs and trying to get things in place, is fairly a good sign. And so far the mood has been fairly cooperative which is a very good sign for everyone," he said.

CoreTech has already completed minor repairs to a number of classrooms and started preparing areas for possible pavement. Regulatory agencies will return for a follow up inspection once the power and water has been hooked-up. UMS faculty and staff have proposed starting the move on January 20 - as long as it is approved by the Guam Education Board during their meeting next week.

The lease agreement is set to take affect beginning February 1.

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