AG approves amended CoreTech lease - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

AG approves amended CoreTech lease

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - The decision now rests in the hands of the Guam Education Board as to whether students from Untalan Middle School will ultimately move to the CoreTech facility in Tiyan. This follows the Calvo Administration's announcement that the attorney general approved an amendment to the lease agreement between CoreTech and GovGuam.

Although it takes five out of nine votes to officially make the move, board member Joe San Agustin says the Wildcats have his support and will be voting 'yes' on Thursday. He explained, "If the board doesn't support this, this is almost like a strike three for the board 1102 we first started with Umatac and they found out we could have saved the school, then we couldn't pick a superintendent, now we can't move the students and take care of students. Are we going to wait until a child gets hurt at Untalan? I'm one board member who won't stand for that."

With the support of the Governor's Office and the AG, he doesn't see any reason why the board wouldn't approve it. GEB chairman Francis Santos meanwhile says the board will hear presentations from Department of Education interim superintendent Taling Taitano on the requirements of the move and chief education Liason Vince Leon Guerrero on the funding source for the repair and renovation of Untalan Middle School.

Under the lease, all payments due to Core Tech will be made in the form of tax credits beginning in February after Untalan is expected to occupy the premises. The amendment extends the term of the original lease from 2019 to 2024 to allow for the recovery of investments for additional improvements and new collateral equipment by both CoreTech and GovGuam.

Governor's chief education liaison Vince Leon Guerrero meanwhile says CoreTech has since contracted a structural engineer to provide an updated assessment since the last one was conducted was three years ago. "I think fixing it, they have a history of knowing what has to be done based on 2009 report, and it looked like they were following the scripts on the repairs. I'm more concerned with getting the additional school equipment in time for it to be fully operational," he told KUAM News.

Once repairs are completed, a structural engineer will go back and comment in a supplemental report whether repairs are completed as they were supposed to be done. Leon Guerrero says CoreTech has already started tile work, painting, paving of the parking lot, and has scraped rust off rebar and prepared surfaces that needed to be patched.

The GEB meanwhile is scheduled to meet this Thursday morning at V.L. Taitano Elementary School in Sinajana.

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