Guam – The Legislature’s Buildup Committee Chairperson, Senator Judi Guthertz, continues to question why the U.S. Department of Education has suddenly decided it wants to reclaim 80 acres of land that it signed over to GovGuam many years ago for future schools.
Schools haven’t been built at the site to date due to lack of local government funds.
Given that the land is near to the controversial Pagat Mangilao firing range complex site, Senator Guthertz recently asked Assistant Secretary of the Navy Jaqueline Pfannenstiel whether use of the site as part of the firing range was behind the reversion proposal.
Not so, said Secretary Pfannenstiel in a letter, though she said the US. Department of Education would have to explain why it wants the land back. As far as the Navy is concerned, if the land is used at all, it would be for ‘non‐firing’ training activities in the Andersen South area.
“Someone is simply missing the point here,” said Senator Guthertz. “With the military buildup, our civilian educational need is for six new public schools; i.e., one high school, two middle schools, and four elementary schools. This parcel of 80 acres is most suitable for some of those schools. Right now it is planned as the site for a middle school and high school. How can they be talking about taking this land back for unspecified training purposes at this critical time?”
Senator Guthertz said she believes that GovGuam revenue will increase to allow for construction of new schools in the near future.