GFD orders Guahan Academy Charter School to vacate premises


“I don’t even know how they even started the school to begin with, but they were never given an occupancy permit,” –Acting Fire Chief Joey San Nicolas.

Guam – For the third time, Guahan Academy Charter School was not able to begin classes on the date administrators promised, citing water issues as the main concern.

Only, water woes seem to be the least of the charter school’s concerns.

In fact, another glaring issue has yet to be cleared by the Guam Fire Department: the school’s occupancy permit.

“In this case, I believe they attempted to occupy [the school] despite not having the proper occupancy permit,” said Acting Fire Chief San Nicolas on “K-57’s Mornings with Patti.”

He added that the school’s administrators had plenty of time to address their occupancy issue.

“We warned them well in advance. We told them of the requirements and yet they still moved forward with where they’re at. I don’t even know how they even started the school to begin with, but they were never given an occupancy permit,” he mused.

And Guam Environmental Protection Agency’s Public Information Officer Nic Lee concurs. He tells PNC that they did not receive GACS’s permit application until last Friday September 1.

“Generally, it could take one to two weeks, depending on sampling schedule laboratory workload,” Lee said. He added, “September 2 – 4 did not fall within standard GovGuam business working hours. All of our inspectors inform contractors about typical routing and time frames…They did not receive clearance from us, however we do have a permit application from them that is currently under standard review,” he said.

In GACS’s social media post this morning, there was no mention of the occupancy permit issue, only the little to no water plaguing the village of Tiyan.

“In the end, it becomes the responsibility of the building operator, which in this case is the school,” he concluded.

Calls to the GACS Board Chairman Roger Cooper and other school administrators were not returned as of news time.

Late this afternoon, GACS announced on their social media page:

“To all parents of middle and high school students – Classes will resume next week Monday. We continue to address fire safety concerns to ensure the safety of your children. During this time, the employees are also receiving the required training and drill practices. We are working diligently to bring the water pressure up to the fire code. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”