Guam- After a recent tour of the new John F. Kennedy High School, Speaker Judi Won Pat is concerned with the final portion of construction work needed to complete the campus.
While CAPFA Representative John Rydle committed to complete 15 projects by April 30, the Speaker notes a number of deadlines have been missed by the company and International Bridge Corporation. she also has issues with the lack of protective material for the gym’s new flooring when it isn’t being used for games. Won Pat adds the campus has also been cited for not being ADA compliant. The most important aspect she points out is that the people of Guam are paying big money for this project and they expect quality work.
“We are going to send out a letter to Mr. Rydle” said Won Pat. “I’m also sending out a letter to the Attorney General because that is a concern. That’s the bad thing. We’re learning from this. Unfortunately, it’s a very expensive lesson to learn.”
READ the Speaker’s Weekly Address in FULL below or HEAR it HERE>>>4-27-12 speakers address.mp3
Buenas yan Hafa Adai:
Yesterday morning, my staff and I toured the JFK campus with Principal Ken Chargualaf and Assistant Principal Hannah Gutierrez.
I wanted to see if there was any progress made on the work that CapFA committed to the JFK community after it pulled IBC off the construction project because of the delays in construction.
After touring the areas of concern that were brought up at the roundtable meeting I held in February, I am cautiously optimistic that progress is ongoing, but at a slow pace.
Having said this, I was very concerned with the progress that the administrators reported to me.
CapFa representative Mr. John Rydle committed to completing 15 projects by April 30th. That deadline for most of the projects will not be met. The problem, said Ms. Gutierrez, all boils down to money.
When I met with Mr. Rydle he assured me that CapFa was going to take IBC off the construction side of the project and have them handle maintenance and that the new contractor was going to come in and finish out the construction, without fail.
Imagine my surprise when Ms. Gutierrez informed me that although IBC no longer handles the construction project, technically, it has to pay the other contractor back to complete these projects.
Because of this, IBC President Robert Toelkes asked that he be given the opportunity to find vendors who can provide materials at a lower cost. This translates to more delays.
JFK was told that IBC was no longer making any decisions regarding the construction close out. What’s going on?!
There has been some progress, but it’s slowing down to a snail’s pace once again, and the two administrators are worried that it will come to a complete stop. I will contact Mr. Rydle to see if I can help in any way.
Just to give you an example, five of the 15 projects that are still pending are the baseball field; putting up signs to be ADA compliant; fencing; the covered walkway; and internet connection.
I will hold Mr. Rydle to his promise and there is also the possibility of pending litigation.
On a more encouraging note, when I was there, the Ninth Grade Academy was doing a Service Learning project. Groups of students were talking to other students about how important it is for young people to become involved in their community.
Two young ladies, Brittany Toves from Dededo and Joresa Ollet fromTamuning, approached me, asking if I would introduce legislation banning the selling of incandescent light bulbs in our community.
I’m aware that there is worldwide support to phase-out these products because of environmental health concerns and the push to use more energy efficient florescent lighting. I will take this up with my colleagues in the legislature to see how we can address this concern.
Our students are smart thinkers; they are taking an active role in our community; but more importantly… they care; they really care. I am confident that as they grow into mature adults, that they will take up the mantle of leadership of this island and her people.
To every parent, thank you for keeping your child in school and impressing upon them the importance of an education; to every teacher, thank you for igniting the passion to learn in your students’ minds; and to every student, thank you for the hope that I have that at some time in the future, you will be the leaders that will guide our people into the next century.