Wildcats finally coming home to Barrigada - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Wildcats finally coming home to Barrigada

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 by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The highly anticipated homecoming for the Wildcats is right around the corner. Thursday KUAM News took a tour of the renovated campus to showcase the hard work being done to finally re-open Untalan Middle School.    

It's a long time coming for students and faculty of UMS in Barrigada. The campus was shutdown in January 2012 for multiple health and safety violations. It was in November of last year though, BME & Sons began the task of transforming the more than half-century year old Home of the Wildcats into a place students could once again call home.

DOE superintendent Jon Fernandez came on board one week after the campus was closed down, saying, "Things were so bad  pieces of the equipment were falling but really was struck me the dirt was knee level because of the flooding that occurred its really good to watch this project come forward its really been a sense of anxiety as you walk through to make sure that all those issues that we saw are addressed."

Over the last eight months the contractor has been working to complete the project which included renovations to the interior and exteriors of administrative offices, the library, cafeteria, existing concrete classrooms, and four restroom facilities. It also includes renovations to eight temporary classrooms, four of which were relocated, the construction of 13 new classrooms and a new restroom facility.  Flooding issues were also resolved along with the construction of a rear parking lot.

Sabino Flores is with Coeval which serves as project manager. "This will provide an additional 50 parking spots more importantly this will serve as the parents drop off in the morning and parents pickup in the afternoon so the main reason for this is to mitigate congestion that was existing in the front parking lot," he said. "That's why we expanded greatly the existed ponding basin that will hold the run off and who've probably  noticed the roofs of the buildings we've built concrete curbs to control the flow of water from the roofs and utilize down spouts to have the waters go through popes to lead to the ponding basing."

UMS assistant principal Jolene Cabrera was one of the many staff at the campus today helping move in equipment. She's actually a former Wildcat.

"It is amazing it really is like I was just telling the super," she said. "It looks like you're walking into a brand new building the transformation is remarkable." Fernandez added, "It is good to know when I talk to people who worked or who have gone to school here at Untalan they recognize right off the bat the changes in the facility. So that gives me a real sense of confidence that the kids are going to be here next year will be in a  safe learning environment and we'll be serving them the best that we can."

Currently UMS has conditional occupancy which allows them to begin moving in equipment. They are aiming to receive full occupancy next week.
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