Four GDOE Schools Rush to Get Housing Ready


A few delegations are expected to arrive a day earlier than scheduled.

Guam – The Guam Department of Education is rushing to get classrooms ready to house incoming FESTPAC delegates because some of the delegates are arriving earlier than scheduled.


George Washington High School is one of the eight schools that will be transitioned into a housing facility for the incoming FESTPAC delegates. Principal Lynda Hernandez-Avilla says she was only informed yesterday that the first of the delegates will be arriving a day early.

Avilla says, “As of late yesterday, I only had one confirmation from the Air Force that they’ll be sending twenty people. I have 64 rooms and over 1600 tables, desks and chairs and I only had 30 staff on board. So I was praying hard. This morning, GPD showed up and one after the other starting showing up so it was great.” 

Avilla explains, they don’t have it as bad as the other schools. “We were actually waiting for them all to come in on Friday at 3 o clock but we found out yesterday that they’ll be coming in at 10 am. We’re kind of lucky because we have today and all tomorrow morning but Astumbo Middle, they’ll have their crew coming in at 1 am,” she says.

GW will be housing delegates from Palau, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna, and Guam. However, Avilla says thanks to volunteers, they were able to prepare the classrooms in time.

Avilla says, “It made our GW staff and admin feel better that we had all the support. So we’re ready for FESTPAC. We’re ready to open up our doors. As for the staff, we have three shifts from 6 to 2:30, 2 to 10:30, 10:30 to 6 am. We have seven individuals per shift assisting in anyway possible 24/7.”
GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez tells PNC that three other schools including Astumbo Middle, Jose Rios Middle, and Untalan Middle are also rushing to transition their campuses to housing facilities as they expect delegates to arrive earlier than scheduled. 
Fernandez explains, “We know there are some early delegations coming in and some who may come and want housing by tomorrow which is a day earlier than expected. So we’re prepared. We know which delegations those may be so we’re trying to accelerate the work.”
As for the volunteers, they’re glad to help out with FESTPAC. GPD Lt. Mike Arcangel says, “This is a once in a lifetime thing. Guam probably won’t see a FESTPAC for over 100 years. It’s going to be in on this. It’s an experience. I have the bragging rights to say I helped with FESTPAC.”