Classes will resume at Sanchez, Yigo school in the clear
by Krystal Paco
Guam - It looks like Simon Sanchez High School is in the clear as regulatory agencies spent the weekend sweeping over the school.
The island's regulatory agencies have spoken. "As a result of these inspections over the weekend we were informed that the building itself is structurally safe," said Rob Malay. With this news, the Department of Education deputy superintendent says classes will resume as usual at the Yigo campus, with the exception of this Friday when the school will close for one day to allow for maintenance repairs which will continue through the weekend.
This means last week's announcement to temporarily shutdown SSHS and implement a double session with neighbor school F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle have since been scrapped. "So if we make some of these repairs these are the short-term repairs we also know there's going to be a much deeper conversation on long term for that facility for that building for that school," he said.
But bandaid fixes and a quick one-day sweep of the school aren't enough to satisfy SSHS parent and Omega Safety Compliance Asia Pacific president and chief safety manager Bill Shippey.
Shippey, who did an inspection of the school back in 2001, questions the credentials of the GovGuam employees who conducted the weekend's assessment and their ability to merely eyeball the campus.
Specifically, he notes that back in 2001 the school required a structural engineer to do a stress test on the second floor, which appears to have recessed back. Today, he notes, that test never happened saying "how can it be bad then and 12 years later, good to go?"
Meanwhile, regulatory agencies like the Department of Public Health say inspectors saw nothing out of the ordinary at the Yigo campus and no evidence to shut down the school.
Public Health director James Gillan says from no soap in the dispensers to no toilet paper is typical, most of which can be addressed at the school level.
Meanwhile, fire captain Joey Manibusan says on GFD's side, the school failed inspection as inspectors observed expired fire extinguishers, emergency lights not working and some hardly visible, and exposed electrical wires.
Malay says this will be addressed along with an open purchase order for fire extinguishers. Right now, doe is working on getting a final count of how many need to be replaced.