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Charter school evades eviction

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - Students and staff at the island's first charter school can breathe a sigh of relief.

The Guahan Academy Charter School has evaded eviction following a meeting between their landlords Core Tech International and Acting Governor Ray Tenorio this morning.

It appears an earlier eviction notice served to the Guahan Academy Charter School was merely a speedbump after all.

As we first brought you the story on Tuesday, it's been a rough ride for the island's first charter school who for years struggled to secure funding and a school site.

Now at full speed with operations four months into their first school year, it was on Tuesday school officials announced they had been operating on the CoreTech facility in Tiyan without a lease agreement.

With Friday the 13th set as a hard deadline for school officials to finalize the lease, the school was doomed for eviction leaving the 515 students who attend the school with no place to go come Monday when school officials would be forced to turn over the keys.

But thanks to a meeting between CoreTech CEO Ho Eun and Acting Governor Ray Tenorio, and Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas this morning, however, classes will resume as normal.

"Thank Core Tech Mr. Ho is just a great friend to the island but for his facility we wouldn't have a facility for the charter school," said Tenorio. "Of course Governor Calvo and I and the entire administration have been in support to try to make this happen and I am very happy the attorney general sat with us and talked with our agency heads EPA GEDA as well as the BBMR to hammer out some of the issues that are in doubt we really need to make sure we get this done before the end of the year the 31st of this month but we are very happy the charter school parents and students will be able to enjoy the facilities that they have been doing up to this point."

We should note that GovGuam and the AG's Office are burning rubber to finalize the lease agreement, which originally only included the Tiyan buildings currently occupied by Untalan Middle School.

The lease agreement under review would allow GovGuam to purchase Tiyan as the Department of Education has expressed interest in converting the space into a central high school. The deadline for GovGuam to purchase Tiyan was set for December 31st, which will now also include the charter school's lease agreement deadline.

For parents like Roger Cooper who rallied at the ITC intersection this morning in support of a signed charter school lease agreement, this means his third grader can continue to blossom at Guahan Academy Charter School.

Cooper notes that his 10-year-old who struggles with mild learning disabilities formerly attended public school, but never saw results the way he does at GACS.

He said, "This school is going to do marvelous things for our children and you can see the support we have here. The people want the school for their children. The children enjoy it. They come home happy. They wake up ready to go to school every day and we want that to continue."

AG Rapadas additionally said in a statement, "I trust that Adelup will ensure that it will address any and all of concerns brought up by BBMR so that we may move forward to provide the children a safe place to learn."

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