Public-private partnership proposed to renovate Southern High auditorium

Senator James Moylan (file photo)

Senator James Moylan has introduced Bill 269-35, which would establish a public-private partnership to repair and renovate the Southern High School Auditorium.

The facility has been inoperable for years due to the lack of a workable air conditioning unit. Moylan said this is unfortunate since the facility has much promise in perpetuating cultural activity, promoting the arts, and providing students in the southern region access to a multipurpose facility.

Under the provisions of the legislation, private entities would be able to contribute the funds to repair the air conditioning and address any molding issues, in lieu of tax credits on unpledged business privilege taxes.

“The issue was raised by the faculty and staff of the Southern High School, and when we visited the auditorium. It is unfortunate that the students do not have access to this great facility, so we realized that we needed to think outside the box and find a funding solution,” Moylan said in a release. “While I am not discounting the investment into FestPac, when you consider how much this government is spending to send 100 individuals to Hawaii, and then realize that if we can instead endow into this auditorium, thousands of students for years will get to enjoy this facility, perpetuate into cultural activity and promote theater and the arts, this is an investment I am proud to place my name on,” he added.

Bill 269-35 allows entities to contribute up to $1,000,000, and would authorize no more than $500,000 a year in tax credits. This would minimize the annual impact towards the government of Guam, while allowing the facility’s repairs to commence. Contributing entities would also be authorized to place promotional pieces in the auditorium to be signified as donors. The tax credit program is similar to a model which was used to rehabilitate the Harmon Industrial Park Roadway.

Senator Moylan concluded: “At the end of the day, this is all about the students, and the first of several measures focused on improving government facilities through the efforts of public-private partnerships.”