Rebuild of Sanchez High reaches impasse - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Rebuild of Sanchez High reaches impasse

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Seven years and at least seven bills later, the rebuilding of Simon Sanchez High School remains at a standstill. Senators held a hearing Wednesday on the latest measure to resolve the long delayed project.

No one argues that the dilapidated more than 40-yearold school needs fixing, but multiple protests have stymied the construction bid award. A bill by Senator Frank Aguon, Jr. seeks a remedy by transferring procurement authority from public works to the education department.

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said, "We're hopeful that this time we can make this dream a reality." Fernandez has been working with stakeholders on a two-step procurement process that separates the construction solicitation from planning, design, and financing.

Original winning bidder Guam Education Finance Foundation is represented by director Phil Flores, and protesting bidder CoreTech represented by Attorney Joyce Tang, who said, "Accordingly GEFF supports 204 and the two phase approach. However we believe there are several revisions to the markup version that should be included for clarification. We have advocated that DOE be the procuring agency and I'm happy to see that it's come to pass."

However, both offered their share of proposed changes to the bill, which Fernandez says he is open to including if it improves the procurement process. "We just want to do the best we can and have the flexibility to make the right decisions  notwithstanding the prior difficulties that have been seen under the prior procurement efforts," he said.

Sanchez students have been waiting a long time, and senior Andrea Lumba, says just get it done. "You fail us by letting us continue to attend our classes at this dumpsite we make believe a school. We are sick and tired of this. We are sick and tired of sitting at public hearings, protests, and repeating the same concerns and requests that we know you guys are sick and tired of hearing," she said.

"Stop the bleeding and give my school the surgery it needs."

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