Calvo signs revised purchase agreement for Tiyan land - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Calvo signs revised purchase agreement for Tiyan land

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - Good news for the 1,100 children who attend Untalan Middle School, the 2,700 students at George Washington High School, and the 500 students who attend the Guahan Academy Charter School, as late this afternoon, Governor Eddie Calvo put pen to paper signing a revised purchase agreement for the CoreTech properties in Tiyan.   

"Priority for us here is I want to get these kids the facilities they need to get a good education," said the governor.

And just in time for tomorrow's deadline, Calvo put pen to paper signing off on amendments and a purchase agreement option as stated under the present lease agreement with CoreTech International Corporation.

We should note, GovGuam is already obligated to lease the Tiyan property until 2024, but with today's signing, GovGuam would own the property and the existing buildings at the end of the lease.

We should also note that today's agreement is not the same one under fire by lawmakers, real estate professionals, and a multi-million dollar developer in the last few days.

The governor announced this afternoon, that the contract and provisions that would have called for new construction on the Tiyan property were removed as a result of what he called political rhetoric from the Legislature.

"We believe it's in the best interest of the students, the employees of the Department of Education that we move forward, but I am not going to second guess the legislature anymore. Although they mandated by law and authorization to expand the footprint, that third lot, though they authorized also the construction of new facilities including athletics and offices and warehousing, we're not going to move forward with that construction project," he said.

With today's signing, Calvo is giving the legislature six months to make the necessary changes in the law spelling out exactly what  they want the Department of Education to move forward on in terms of the construction of new facilities.

Meanwhile, it's a celebration of education as students at Untalan Middle School will remain at Tiyan until their Barrigada campus renovations are completed next summer. With the wildcats homecoming, George Washington High School students can get some relief from their decade-old problem with overcrowding starting School Year 2014-2015.

Also, despite an eviction notice issued earlier this month, the Guahan Academy Charter School may remain at their Tiyan buildings. It's yet to be announced whether the charter school will pay rent to GovGuam now that GovGuam owns the properties.

In addition, Department of Education Central Offices may relocate from their dilapidated Hagatna offices into the vacant building in Tiyan.

According to Governor Eddie Calvo's director of communications Troy Torres, the revised purchase agreement brings down the pricetag to $57 million, plus an interest rate of 7% each year for up to 10 years verses the earlier $98 million plan which included plans for CoreTech to construct new buildings to accommodate a central high school, a new gym, new office spaces, and warehouses for DOE Central.

GovGuam will be paying CoreTech in tax credits, which CoreTech by law, may transfer to any private company it chooses.

As we've previously reported, the Tiyan properties were once owned by GovGuam but returned to original landowners. Back in 2007, the Arriola family sold the property to CoreTech for $11 million. Following renovations to bring the facilities up to school codes to serve as an interim campus for John F. Kennedy High School, the buildings that currently house Untalan Middle School appraised at $52.3 million in 2011.

Senator Michael San Nicolas in the meantime continues to be critical of the CoreTech contract. He objects to the purchase and believes it should have gone through the competitive bidding process. He also is concerned that by giving such an enormous amount of tax credits to one company it could have an impact on the military buildup.

He said, "If we give out these tax credits in a big chunk to one company, we're basically giving away our buildup tax revenue in advance. Even if the buildup comes in at $6 billion in spending here on Guam, that at 4% comes in a $240 million and we're pretty much giving that away as a tax credit to contractors. We can basically rest assured we're not going to get any GRT from any contracting operations if this deal goes through. So we're selling out the buildup in advance - we're going to be stifling competition were going to potentially be raising prices it's a horrendous deal across the board and I hope the governor does not sign it."

In response, Governor Eddie Calvo recommended he speak with his colleagues that approved the legislation which was enacted into law approving the tax credits as well as the provision allowing the company to transfer it whichever company it chooses.

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