CAPFA here to get JFK project back on track
by Krystal Paco
Guam - Since Capital Projects Finance Authority construction monitor John Rydle arrived to Guam 14 days ago, the John f. Kennedy High School community is finally starting to see some action. "There's been a lot of progress and movement with the JFK campus," said assistant principal Hannah Gutierrez.
In two weeks Rydle has managed to nearly complete or initiate what has taken JFK contractor International Bridge Corporation, more than half the school year to get done. "We're finishing the construction here at JFK," Gutierrez added. She's been outspoken about the lack of progress - in a recent roundtable meeting at the Guam Legislature she gave IBC failing marks for the quality of workmanship, timeliness and responsiveness, safety, conservation of energy, and maintenance.
CAPFA's Rydle assures the community those days are over, saying, "We have taken a lot of corrective action to make sure that this school gets done and gets done as quickly as possible. And will get done the right way."
Since arriving on Guam, Rydle says he's met with JFK administration, the Department of Education as well as the Department of Public Works to settle a lot of the outstanding issues, including the school's unfinished gym. "I think two weeks ago this looked more like a large storage room with equipment that was not being used. Now we have the right equipment, the right materials and more importantly the right people here to finish this system and get this gym done the way it should be," he said. "In addition to that you're going to see a lot of activity around the JFK campus. Some of the measures will be corrective, internal to the school some of them external. You'll see a covered walkway put in. Things that the JFK community deserve and things that have been delayed unacceptably too long."
So where has CAPFA been all this time? Rydle says they've been monitoring the situation, understood there was inclement weather and surveying issues as well as other unforeseen circumstances causing delays. But they were also under the impression IBC was on top of it, as Rydle said, "In this case these problems these unexpected internal difficulties of some of the team developed that we weren't aware of, but when we became aware of them I think we have taken the corrective action to ensure that this gets done."
And to ensure the momentum continues, CAPFA has established an onsite representative at JFK to monitor the progress. "I know that the JFK students and the families and the administration have been very, very patient. We're going to make sure that this is done right. You're going to see a lot of activity here moving forward in the next couple weeks; it's going to get back on track. And you're going to see really a renewed sense of urgency."
In terms of why CAPFA hasn't been assessed liquidated damages, Rydle says the contract stipulated as long as the school was substantially completed by deadline then penalties would not be assessed. Rydle in the meantime is hoping to have the gym completed by April 30.
He adds will be in constant communication with his representative at JFK to ensure that its not just talk he's hearing, but action.