Senators question school's move to Tiyan - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Senators question school's move to Tiyan

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - As the Guam Education Board heads into a special board meeting tomorrow to discuss and possibly make the ultimate decision as to whether Untalan Middle School will move to Core Tech International's Tiyan facilities, downtown at the Guam Legislature today there were indications the plan isn't making the grade with certain senators. Department of Education superintendent Taling Taitano was asked questions on the cost-effectiveness of relocating the faculty and staff to Tiyan when the renovations to the Barrigada campus can be completed around instructional time and over the summer break.

Senator Aline Yamashita said, "So Madam Superintendent, what are you going to do? Are we going to stay there and fix it while our kids are there and then you're going to ask us to find $3 million to address the issue, or are we going to move to Tiyan? Have you made a decision?" Taitano responded by saying, "Well, I was told by my legal counsel that's my board decision and they are meeting tomorrow morning to deliberate on that issue. My sense is that if we do move Untalan to Tiyan, I would expect additional monies be made available so that we can substantially renovate or rebuild that school and absence that we have plans to work around the students staying at Untalan."

Yamashita said, "So I suppose then Speaker Ben [Pangelinan], after the board meeting , Madam Superintendent we'll talk with you and Speaker [Judi] Won Pat?"

Won Pat said, "I think that's important as well because I know that they have been keeping the Legislature out this entirely, but if any forms of money is going to be used to pay for the rent either through tax credit then it still has to come through the Legislature and if language is going to be placed in there as well that it be done in a reasonable time that you're not going to sit there for two years or more until we find the money."

An amended lease has been approved by the Attorney General's Office. 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. This is estimated to cost over $4 million. 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 Core Tech and GovGuam.

Tomorrow's GEB meeting is scheduled for 8:30 in the morning at C.L. Taitano Elementary School in Sinajana.

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