Hearing booked on legislation to tear down old DOA building - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Hearing booked on legislation to tear down old DOA building

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In the heart of historic Hagatna, tourists and locals are able to visit and take pictures of the renovated and restored Plaza De Espana and the Cathedral Basilica. Additionally, the new Guam Museum is going up. However, not too far from our visitors' view is a longstanding eyesore.

"The old legislature that still needs to be rebuilt, and this old Department of Administration building that is a health hazard, a public safety hazard and a blight to the community," noted Chris Duenas. Bill 32 once again is up for a public hearing. The legislation would authorize the demolition of the Manuel F. L Guerrero Administration Building, which once housed DOA and the Department of Education. The hearing is the latest in a series of previous ones that were held to gather the public's input.

During those previous hearings there was opposition from individuals like former senator Hope Cristobal, who felt it should be preserved and from Vice Speaker BJ Cruz, who believes there are other priorities such as renovations to public schools.

Duenas, a former senator and now a special assistant to Governor Eddie Calvo, is presenting the plan on behalf of Adelup which contains input from the Guam Historic Preservation Trust and the Hagatna Restoration and Redevelopment Authority. "They'll show how these two entities have done their due diligence, in order to show that it's better to demolish the current building to move forward with these plans," he explained. "And the other issue historic preservation in particular will answer a question that seems to be perennial by at least a member of the legislature at least and maybe one member of the public. So far is that the historic value of the current building and how to capture and realize preserving that history without having to maintain the current brick and mortar, basically."

The idea is to tear down the building and construct a palasyo or palace that would house various government offices and get rid of the need for the government to pay rent. The structure is owned by the Guam Legislature. It has been deteriorating over the years. The situation got so bad, government agencies had to relocate. Adelup is hoping the legislature will support the plan just like the family of the buildings' namesake has done.

Duenas said, "The family of the building that the governor is currently names after the Guerrero family have come down and have spoken out that first and foremost have said they believe the current structure is dishonorable to their father."

Funding to tear down the building will come from left over Hotel Occupancy Tax Bond project money from the Guam Economic Development Authority.

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