Saipan, Tinian public schools remain closed; 7 severely damaged

SUPER Typhoon Yutu damaged the public schools on Saipan and Tinian, Associate Education Commissioner Lynette Villagomez said.

She said seven schools were almost 100 percent damaged: Hopwood Middle School, William S. Reyes Elementary School, Francisco M. Sablan Middle School and Koblerville Elementary School.

“We are still waiting for the full assessment to be completed by our school administrators. From there, the [Public School System] leadership team will discuss what our options will be to bring our students back to school.”

Villagomez said public schools will remain closed until further notice with the exception of Rota schools which resumed classes on Monday, Oct. 29.

She noted that the damaged school structures were made of wood and tin roofing.

Head Start centers have the least damage because they are fully concrete, Villagomez added.

“Right now, our priority is to rebuild our facilities,” she said, but added that PSS does not have a timeline on the completion of the rebuilding and repairing its facilities.

The newly renovated MHS gym, which was damaged by Typhoon Soudelor in 2015, is severely damaged again. “The good thing about the MHS gym is that it is still under warranty,” Villagomez said.

In a statement, interim Education Commissioner Glenn Muna said they are assessing the damage to the schools. “We will provide updates when we are ready.”

Muna said the following schools are serving as typhoon shelters to 738 people: Tinian Elementary School, Kagman Elementary School, Kagman High School, San Vincente Elementary School, Koblerville Elementary School, Marianas High School, Tanapag Middle School, and Dandan Head Start Center.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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