Doors to Sanchez High reopen, post-renovation - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Doors to Sanchez High reopen, post-renovation

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - After a week off from classes, Simon Sanchez High School students and staff returned to a newly renovated Yigo campus as various government agencies conducted inspections around the school.  Significant improvements have been made but there's still much more work to be done.

Simon Sanchez students were pleasantly surprised when they returned to school today. Jose Quinata exclaimed, "It's a big difference!" with fellow senior Tyler Lujan adding, "There are lights that are on that weren't working before that are working now."

"The floors look way shinier than they were. The windows over three are brand new. The lights all work the rooms are colder, much colder," Quinata noted.

But even though students noticed the difference, the real test was whether they met the standards of Public Health, the Guam Environmental Protection Agency and the Guam Fire Department.

Deputy superintendent Rob Malay attended today's inspection and told KUAM News, "We're pretty confident that with the partnership that they provided for us that we'll turn out pretty good."

Public Health officials have been to the campus multiple times over the last week, pointing out issues of concern as doe has been working to correct the deficiencies to prevent any additional school closures. "There have been a lot of folks up here," Malay confirmed. "We've had our facilities and maintenance division, school personnel, cleaning contractor They've all been up here every day even on weekends, working 'til sunset tidying up, cleaning up getting rid of old debris that doesn't need to be on campus, replacing Plexiglas and fixing up a lot of the things that they're able to fix up with the resources that we have."

Public Health inspectors went classroom to classroom and into each office and the gym looking for any areas that needed to be addressed marking down issues like lack of lighting, unsafe objects, peeling paint, rust and mold and broken panels and more. GFD inspectors were also on site and found more than they bargained for in the school's main office.

Flores and Quinata appreciate the repairs that were made, but say it's a shame it took students pushing for things to be fixed. Flores stated, "Probably if we hadn't done anything, then probably nothing would have happened," with Quinata adding, "I think it's safer so far but I hope it'll be maintained. I think it's the admin's job, the government's job to provide this for us. It shouldn't be us kids having to ask for it, or us young adults."

Flores also said gratefully, "Thank you. It's not what we wanted.  A new school would be nice but it's better than nothing. We're content that we don't have to worry about things anymore. We don't have to dodge anymore leaking roofs or worry about hot classrooms."

But Malay acknowledges that the work is far from over, saying, "We know there are still big ticket items that still need to be addressed like the awnings outside, the Powerpet still needs to be addressed on the roof, we know that. But we need additional resources to be able to address those."

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