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RFP for school facilities going out on Wednesday

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - The Home of the Sharks will see some much needed renovations by the end of the year.

It seems their hard work has paid off as the Simon Sanchez graduating class of 2014 received a surprise announcement by Governor Eddie Calvo at their graduation commencement ceremonies held on Saturday. DOE superintendent Jon Fernandez said, "On Saturday we got a pleasant surprise at Simon Sanchez graduation when Governor Calvo announced the RFP for $100,000 for school facility renovations was ready to go and so we are looking forward to it being published on Wednesday."

The Class of 2014 played an instrumental role in advocating for renovations to be made to their dilapidating campus. It was in November of last year that a tour of the campus revealed the reality faced by students and staff from holes in the floor to missing ceiling tiles and incredibly hot classrooms. "What it means is that Simon Sanchez High School will be the top priority for that financing and that means we will have an opportunity to renovate that school and really address all the issues that came up this past school year," he said.

The renovations are scheduled to begin in December and according to Fernandez they hope to accommodate the students at the school while construction is in progress. "So as we've said in the past once we assess the campus we will determine the level of work that s needed to renovate the campus and do so in a way that will provide the students a modern facility where we can focus on teaching and learning and not on the poor conditions of the facilities," he explained. "If we can renovate on that campus there is an opportunity to go ahead and house the students right there at Simon Sanchez without needing to have an alternative location."

But that of course is dependent on the plans and details to be made once a bidder is chosen. He says in addition to the renovations at Simon Sanchez they will also be able to complete a master facilities plan and hopefully use the additional resources to be able to address the needs at some of the other schools based on their priorities or level of work that needs to be done.

Fernandez says he can't wait to get to a point where to look at the big picture on Guam as to what DOE is facing and actually have the resources to address them. 

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