Chief Brodie Elementary could be converted to middle school - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Chief Brodie Elementary could be converted to middle school

Posted: Jun 18, 2018 4:23 PM Updated:
Courtesy: DOE Courtesy: DOE

By Salome Vuki

It's a possibility one local elementary school might be named a new central middle school. The issue brought up as the education department crunched the numbers to find out where to cut cost. DOE and school officials conducted a walk-through to see if this move would even be possible.

The Home of the Busy Bees may soon be home to only middle schools students. During a tour of Chief Brodie Elementary School on Monday, officials walked the halls to see if it's possible to convert the Tamuning campus. The transformation is part of DOE's redistricting plan, to get students attending schools closer to their village home.

"Putting kids in the community schools to me is a priority putting the kids in the area they're familiar with their community schools," noted Mark Mendiola, chairman of the Guam Education Board. The campus would transform from holding 300 elementary students to 600 middle school students from Tamuning who currently attend Jose Rios Middle School in Piti.

Board Member James Lujan added, "The school is pegged for an elementary setting but that doesn't mean you can't use minimum standards in the classroom."

During this walkthrough, officials found multiple challenges they could face in converting the home of the bees from an elementary school to a middle school.

Superintendent Jon Fernandez added, "We will probably have to do a lot of purchases of collateral equipment for middle-school sized students. The restrooms. Most likely we will have to do expansions and upgrading of the restrooms."

Not to mention budget shortfalls to secure facility funding, of which Fernandez said, "One of the things we're looking forward to is having a dedicated stream of funding source for facilities so we can use and prioritize those funds for different types of projects."

Fernandez adds other reconstruction, like Simon Sanchez remains a top priority.

The assessment will continue into the summer. The Superintendent says he expects a decision by September to start the work for a new middle school at Chief Brodie. That school could open as early as school year 2019 to 2020.

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