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Repairs underway to get campuses ready for upcoming school year

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With the first day of classes just two weeks away, school officials are out in full force working to get the island's 42 public school ready for the upcoming year.

Sixteen days and counting until classes begin, meaning school officials like Candy Mariano are working around the clock. "We have contractors that are here doing the awnings, then we have Guam Cleaning Masters doing the stripping and waxing in the rooms," said Mariano.

KUAM stopped by Price Elementary Wednesday morning and had the chance to help paint a portion of the school's G-wing canopies. "This is just to make sure that there aren't any leaks when school starts," said Mariano.

However more canopy repairs are needed at the school's D-wing.

Meanwhile Superintendent Jon Fernandez says work is happening district-wide. He meets with his team to review school readiness progress every Monday, adding a variety of federally funded canopy repairs and playground resurfacing projects are underway. As for bigger projects at Simon Sanchez High School, he said those repairs likely won't be completed by the first day of classes.

"We do expect that the entire scope of work will take 45 days to complete, but our plan is to focus most of our efforts to make classrooms available to students as a first phase and we're planning to get that done near the start of school," he said.

Other schools that have bigger projects to address include the Oceanview Middle School and George Washington High School. "We don't want anyone back on campus asking questions about potential asbestos exposure, and so this is the best time to do it, during the summer," Fernandez noted. "And then we're working on solutions for Oceanview. Number one their D-Wing, it's a building that's supposed to be temporary but it's been there for 20 years already. And it's a wood and tin structure essentially, so that's not going to last very long."

Fernandez said he anticipates all schools will be ready to open come August 17.

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