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Sanchez High community tired of waiting for school repairs

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Students at Simon Sanchez High School are tired, and they want their school to be rebuilt...NOW. During a public hearing on yet another bill to  jump start renovations, the school community said enough is enough.

It was well after school hours, when these Sharks raised their voices in a public hearing held Tuesday in their cafeteria. "I am tired of using these poorly maintained restrooms, I'm tired of always smelling urine and feces...I'm tired of feeling unsafe," said one student.

Testimony after testimony, students expressed their frustration with empty promises. It's been four years since public law was enacted providing funding to rebuild Simon Sanchez High School. There are holes in the walls, there are cracks in the walls of the building, some toilets in the restroom are broken, and cannot be used by the students, roofs are leaking when it's raining, and there are more broken things than new things.

Another student professed, "When it rains after school, you're lucky if you can even stick your hand under the small bus loading area for shelter. At least you get to rinse off the fear of standing under a ceiling so old ready to go into a coma." A classmate echoed the sentiment, saying, "They tell me things like, is your school built yet? Or, 'Chelu, you come from a ghetto school, your school is so ugly and ghetto looking.'"

While students explained what they have to go through every day, Senator San Nicolas questioned whether they even read the bill and understood the consequences, saying, "Everyone's coming up and supporting Bill 204, is everyone familiar with exactly what Bill 204 is going to do."  And Senator Tom Ada says the bill could cause even further delays, noting, "If we take away all that due process I'm afraid we'll end up in court and slow the process even more."

Bill 204 is the latest in a string of bills and laws enacted to move renovations forward, but multiple protests and appeals by CoreTech International have continued to delay dirt from turning and concrete from being poured. Even on this latest bill, CoreTech believes it will delay the process even further.   It's clear, however, the school community is fed up with the lip service.

Teacher Andre Baynum shared, "You know what the issues are, but we have to live this everyday and if this isn't solved, we're this is more than just money and contracts and procurement. This is their future, guys!"

He added, "Not to offend our current legislature on Guam but this must seem to be their priority to care about the students in the public education system, if they did then this would be resolved by now."

Bill 204 was introduced by Senator Frank Aguon, Jr.

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