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Where is the RFP to improve school campuses?

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It's something that's been in the works for awhile now, but the request for proposal to renovate Department of Education schools is finally on its way. Department of Public Works director Glenn Leon Guerrero said, "That RFP is actually now at the Attorney General's Office. I actually just transmitted it today, this morning." According to Leon Guerrero, it all started with a study by the Army Corps of Engineers. The study investigated what repairs were needed at DOE schools, how much these repairs would cost, as well as which were most pressing.

"Then Sodexo actually came in and did another set of assessments. The end result I think back then was about 90 million dollars worth of repair work," he said.

The Legislature then authorized a $100 million RFP to aid the schools. This was in the summer of 2014. "Since then," Leon Guerrero added, "we've had about three or four other bills or laws that came into play."

This caused some delays as one called for a greater focus on Simon Sanchez High School, while another looked to utilize a different funding source. An initial RFP focusing solely on Simon Sanchez was ready last month with approval from the AG, but then a decision was made to change gears. "Instead of going at this piecemeal, the decision was made to go at it holistically and hire one contractor and have this contractor be held accountable in fixing our schools," he said.

The new RFP incorporates all DOE schools. Leon Guerrero says that the AG's Office has been working with DPW every step of the way and it should not take long for approval. Once approved, there will be enough time allotted for off-island companies to participate. "It's not a 20-day turnaround, it's not a 30-day turnaround, it's not a quick turnaround, we're looking at about a 60- or 90-day turnaround," he noted.

As far as Simon Sanchez High School, whether it is renovated with a few new buildings, or completely rebuilt, is still up for debate. Leon Guerrero says it's dependent upon expert advice as to which option is the most cost effective. However all schools should be able to look forward to better campuses in the coming years.

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