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Back Local News GDOE intends to stay in old office

GDOE intends to stay in old office

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DURING the last Guam Education Board meeting, Guam Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez said as of now, there are no plans to move GDOE out of its current offices in Hagåtña, saying his priority is finding resources to fix schools.

In his report, Fernandez reiterated his position, stating there are currently no resources available for a central office move. Instead, he said the department’s focus is on finding resources to fix schools.

GDOE's neighbor, the Department of Administration, recently moved to the International Trade Center building in Tamuning.

The report also states the ideal option would be for the department to remain in the current building while seeking funding support from the Legislature to bring the facilities up to par with necessary health and safety requirements.

The Legislature owns the building used by GDOE as its central office.

In addition, the option of moving into the Tiyan facilities currently occupied by Untalan Middle School would be explored if the Hagåtña building is no longer available for the department's use.

An education roundtable meeting convened by Sen. Aline Yamashita’s office earlier this week discussed various long-term plans for the Tiyan facility once UMS moves into its renovated campus in Barrigada.

Among the possibilities discussed was GDOE's use of the facility as a central office in the near future.

During the meeting it was mentioned that the government has up to December this year to decide if it wants to purchase the Tiyan facility.

Fernandez said GDOE plans to review its options and make recommendations regarding the use of the Tiyan facility. One option includes using the facility to house a new central secondary school.

Master facilities plan

The superintendent's report also mentioned the department's intention to fast-track its master facilities plan for the school system.

The master facilities plan is intended to be a strategic plan for financing and implementing school facility improvements. Moreover, it will be used to guide future resources as well as improvement priorities.

In their fiscal year 2014 budget request to the Legislature, GDOE allocated $1 million for the master plan.

But to speed up its implementation, GDOE met with representatives from the Governor’s Office, Guam Economic Development Authority, and the Legislature to discuss various options for making the plan happen sooner.

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