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New JFK campus still not completely done

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - While the ribbon has been cut and the school opened for classes for several months already, the $64.7 million John F. Kennedy High School campus remains unfinished, much to the dismay of students and faculty. The JFK Islanders may have moved into their new campus in Upper Tumon months, ago but International Bridge Corporation still has a long way to go before they complete the job. 

The school community is growing impatient as the gym, dance room, cafeteria, baseball field, tennis court and neighboring police koban have yet to be completed despite promises and deadlines. JFK assistant principal Hannah Gutierrez said. "The faculty is very frustrated; of course, IBC we're trying to work with them. We get a lot of promises that there's completion dates, our tennis courts were supposed to be completed after Christmas Break, our baseball field was supposed to be open for the students, and IBC hasn't provided feedback as to why."

"It's already going to be the start of the third quarter - half the year is gone, the kids haven't had the opportunity to use the full capacity of JFK," she added.

Students and athletes have been left to seek out other venues for physical education class and practice as the gym has no flooring. "The special membrane that's supposed to be laid, what happened was that IBC communicated with us that they prepared the floor for a special kind of flooring. Not the correct one. The vendor gave them the wrong information, so they need a couple more days to address it properly," said Gutierrez.

Even the school's parking lot needs work as it currently poses safety issues, as the administrator detailed, "Right now our parking lots don't have any parking designations, even with the handicap parking, which directions to go in. There's a safety concern for our students, as well as our faculty and visitors on campus."

That's in addition to the school's cafeteria that still can't prepare hot lunches as it awaits additional inspections by regulatory agencies. According to Department of Public Works director Joanne Brown, the new John F. Kennedy High School continues to operate under a conditional use permit only, as DPW has yet to sign-off on the school's final occupancy permit.

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