New central middle school gets backing

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(PNC photo)

Guam – Here’s good news for some public school students!

The Legislature has responded to requests to build a new middle school that would be located in the central part of the island.

Senator Telena Nelson has filed Bill 145-35, which would appropriate $4.7 million from the general fund to the Guam Department of Education to finance the conversion of Chief Brodie Memorial Elementary School into a new central middle school.

Earlier, GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said that due to the lack of a central middle school, many of the island’s central and northern students have to be transported all the way to the nearest middle school in Piti on a daily basis.

The Guam Education Board has already passed a resolution requesting funding support from the governor and the Legislature to convert Chief Brodie into a middle school.

A study on the conversion of Chief Brodie commissioned by GEB concluded that the conversion is possible.

But because GDOE had its budget reduced by over $19 million over the past year, it does not have the resources necessary to fund the project.

This is why the Guam Education Board, in partnership with the Tamuning-Tumon-Harmon Municipal Planning Council, requested the assistance of the governor and the Legislature.

The education board said GDOE needs at least $10 million in additional funding to convert Chief Brodie into a central middle school.

However, this is more than the amount authorized by Bill 145-35, which appropriates only about half of the needed $10 million from the general fund.

So far, the governor’s office has not yet indicated whether Adelup would shoulder the other half of what GDOE needs.