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    Tuesday, March 26, 2019-4:50:50P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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NMC resumes morning classes

NORTHERN Marianas College student John Delos Reyes is happy to again attend morning classes on NMC’s As Terlaje campus.

He said the last time he saw the campus was on Oct. 23, 2018, a day before Typhoon Yutu devastated Saipan and Tinian, and inflicted significant damage on NMC — 37 of its 39 classrooms were destroyed.

From December to February. NMC had to hold afternoon classes at  Saipan Southern High School.

But through the help of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 24 temporary classrooms have been set up on the NMC campus where morning classes resumed Wednesday.

“For almost four months, I did not see my friends, classmates and teachers,” said Delos Reyes, a freshman.

His classes are held in the morning and online. Both were temporarily suspended after Typhoon Yutu, but the online classes resumed on Feb. 11.

For the past four month, Delos Reyes said he helped his family fix their house in Chalan Kanoa.

“But now, I am ready to finish this term. I am happy to be back in college and even happier with the barbecue party NMC hosted to welcome us back,” he added.

 He described his new classroom, an Alaska Structures shelter, as spacious, comfortable and “very cold.”

NMC Interim President Frankie Eliptico said they hosted a barbecue to welcome the students.

Northern Marianas College Interim President Frankie Eliptico gives Saipan senators  a quick tour of one of NMC’s temporary classrooms on Wednesday. From left, Eliptico, Sen. Sixto Igosomar, Sen. Vinnie Sablan, and Senate Floor Leader Justo Quitugua.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. LirioNorthern Marianas College Interim President Frankie Eliptico gives Saipan senators a quick tour of one of NMC’s temporary classrooms on Wednesday. From left, Eliptico, Sen. Sixto Igosomar, Sen. Vinnie Sablan, and Senate Floor Leader Justo Quitugua. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

“Today is the first day that our students are back on NMC campus. We have had classes prior to today at Saipan Southern High School. That is where we were able to continue our fall semester. But we are happy that our students are back on their campus,” he said.

Because of the typhoon, Eliptico said they have to readjust their first semester and “push” spring semester and graduation schedules.

“Our spring semester should have started in January but will  now begin on April 1. Graduation, which is normally scheduled for May, will be held on June 29.”

On Wednesday, Eliptico said they invited FEMA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CNMI officials and NMC board members to help the college welcome back its students.

Eliptico said he is very thankful to SSHS’ principal, teachers and staff, the Public School System and the Board of Education for allowing NMC to hold classes at SSHS.

“We are extremely appreciative of our partnership with PSS and the BOE in the recovery efforts,” he added.

As for NMC, Eliptico said the plan is to build new facilities.

“We do not want to repair the buildings that sustained severe damage. A lot of them are old buildings. We want to build brand new, modern, state-of-the-art facilities worthy of our students and  our community, and yet another compelling reason for students to stay here and start smart at NMC,” he added.

During the barbecue event on Wednesday,  NMC also gave out free school supplies to students while the Tan Siu Lin Foundation distributed laptop bags.

Lawmakers, including Sen. Sixto Igosomar, Sen. Vinnie Sablan, Senate Vice President Jude Hofschneider, Senate Floor Leader Justo Quitugua and Vice Speaker Larry Deleon Guerrero, put on a barbecue apron  and helped serve food to the students.