Attorney General pushes for SSHS inspection - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Attorney General pushes for SSHS inspection

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GUAM -There's proof in the dozens of pictures --- there's a binder full of written statements from students explaining the severity of the damages to their school --- and there are 41-pages of parent and student signatures in support of a rebuild of Simon Sanchez High School --- All of this and more was submitted to Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas during a closed door meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Despite the weekend's assessment of the school deeming the building "structurally sound" in a media briefing Wednesday morning, Rapadas says with the additional feedback, he's pushing to have the regulatory agencies go back.
 
 
"We're going to be cross-checking assessments, the army corps of engineers, we're not experts. We are still intending to go in and conduct a full inspection. A full inspection means going in and again, I'm going to use the term, a letter grade because the use of a letter grade is useful because what it does it provides the agencies the actual legal ability to shut something down whether it be because of the kitchen, the actual structure, or however things look there" he explained.
 
Despite the doubts raised by students and staff, Governor Eddie Calvo's deputy press secretary Phillip Leon Guerrero contends last weekend's assessment was conducted by professionals who admit there are deficiencies at the school, but no eminent danger to warrant a temporary shutdown.
 
 "One of the things we don't want to do is just walk into a school, close it for reasons unknown, close it just because you want to close it for some political gain, without any thought of the consequences. Obviously if the school was so bad that it would've been shut down, a fire inspector would've shut it down they can't turn a blind eye to that."
 
Meanwhile, Rapadas reports he will be meeting with regulatory agencies on Friday to review a compiled report of their findings. This will include the Department of Public Health, the Guam Environmental Protection Agency, the Guam Fire Department, and the Department of Public Works.

Also on Friday, SSHS is scheduled to close down for one day to allow the DOE facilities and maintenance division time to make repairs through the weekend.
Following the repairs, Rapadas anticipates an inspection could happen as early as next week.

"We’re baffled the Attorney General is stirring unnecessary drama while others in the government are actually working to fix Simon Sanchez High School.  It’s ironic he is choosing to take issue over meeting with regulatory agencies—especially since he attacked their professionalism and expertise only a few days ago.

Phil Leon Guerrero, Governor Eddie Calvo's Deputy Press Secretary, said, "These are the experts who worked on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to give DOE the answers it needs to fix Simon Sanchez High.  And that is the work the AG was “disappointed” in until his press release issued today.  Thankfully, because we worked with Superintendent Jon Fernandez and his team, our regulatory agencies were able to advise DOE on the repairs and work the campus needs in order to address the health and safety concerns of the community.

"These agencies are not available to meet with the AG on Friday because they will be sharing their findings in an official report to Adelup.  This meeting will be open, so the media, general public, and the Sharks family can be updated on this critical situation—unlike meetings the AG has on this issue.

"We know how to fix the problems at Simon Sanchez because of the collaborative efforts we have in place with DOE, Speaker Judi Won Pat, and others.  All of us at the table are working hard to solve these issues.  Attorney General Rapadas is more than welcome to help.

"We will not waste precious time on an agenda to close down a school without the experts saying a closure is needed.  Instead, we will continue to work with DOE to ensure safety issues at all their aging campuses are being resolved."

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