Senator Underwood: A Sense of Urgency Needed for School Repairs

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After two years and the procurement process to repair one school is not even complete.

Guam – Senator Nerissa Underwood says she’s disappointed at the pace of the procurement process for repairing the Department of Education schools. At this point, she encourages DOE and Department of Public Works to put the students at the center of their decision.

 

Underwood first sent a letter to GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez after 13 classrooms at George Washington High School were vandalized. Underwood stated in a release that now more than ever, and given the pre-existing issues of deterioration and dilapidation at the school, she believes the renovation at GW needs to be prioritized. Underwood and Fernandez then held a conference call where Underwood expressed her disappointment in the delay of the $100-million dollars appropriated for deferred maintenance of DOE schools. She pointed out that it was issued two years ago and they have yet to complete the procurement process for one school. She says it is is discouraging for students, educators and support staff who have to live with challenging school facilities.

Underwood says, “We know that our schools are old. We know that there is a dire need for repairs and I’m somewhat disappointed that to date, even though we had a couple closures for Simon Sanchez, we still have not seen the start date for the repairs for Sanchez…not to mention the other schools. There has to be a call for a sense of urgency in getting this done.”
 
Underwood says she hopes that the safety and welfare of our students are not compromised in the meantime. Underwood asks that DOE work closely with her Committee on Public Education to ensure that the needs of GWHS are addressed immediately.