Clock ticking for GovGuam to purchase Tiyan buildings - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Clock ticking for GovGuam to purchase Tiyan buildings

by Krystal Paco

Guam - While there's been plenty of spotlight on the Guahan Academy Charter School in Tiyan in recent weeks, Department of Education superintendent Jon Fernandez is hoping to get the same urgency to resolve the decade-old issue of overcrowding at George Washington High School in Mangilao.

In a letter addressed to Governor Eddie Calvo on Tuesday, Fernandez requests for updates on the CoreTech buildings adjacent to the charter school buildings in Tiyan. As we've been reporting, Fernandez plans to convert the space into a central high school to help alleviate the 2,600 student population at GW. Untalan Middle School currently uses this space as an interim campus as their Barrigada campus undergoes renovations.

With GovGuam recently stepping in to assist the charter school evade eviction, both deals are now combined and must be finalized by December 31. "That lease discussion also is relevant to our talks of a new central high school as well as the relocating of our offices from downtown from the DOA building," said Fernandez.

So what's the holdup? According to Governor Eddie Calvo, it's the Attorney General's Office. He explained, "Since August of this year we sent out a draft least agreement to the Attorney General's Office and obviously with the Attorney General's Office, it's been one issue or another - from this standpoint I'm concerned. I'm concerned about the pace and speed at which they're acting on this lease and some of the concerns they had."

Although he remains confident the deals will be finalized in time, Calvo questions whether Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas is overstepping his boundaries. "As far as the governor and our administration what our responsibility is is to move forward with helping these students and the Department of Education and the responsibility of the Attorney General's Office is to look at that contract look at its legality and form and if it's legal and the form is correct put their stamp of approval on it - it's not an issue of policy the attorney general does not make policy. He should focus on what is important," he said.

Although Adelup has yet to disclose how much the Tiyan purchase would cost, communications director Troy Torres confirms that the Tiyan facility is cheaper per square foot that previous school purchases....

Meanwhile, the attorney general's spokesperson Carlina Charfauros tells KUAM that although they received the initial lease agreement contract on August 30, they've been working closely with the Guam Economic Development Authority and the Bureau of Budget & Management Research to address concerns.

Charfauros notes that at least eight drafts of the lease have been circulated since and that they continue to work to review the contract in order to meet deadline.

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