Marianas Variety

Last updateFri, 22 Nov 2019 12am







    Thursday, November 21, 2019-4:14:55A.M.






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PSS: FEMA to fund Hopwood reconstruction

THE Public School System expects the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund the reconstruction of Hopwood Middle School which was destroyed by Typhoon Yutu.

Also destroyed were the school’s books and equipment among other things, Education Commissioner Glenn Muna said.

PSS submitted a list of the damaged school buildings and their contents to FEMA which is still reviewing the documents, he added.

Muna said rebuilding Hopwood Middle will cost between $60 million and $80 million. “That includes the classrooms to accommodate 1,000 students, a cafeteria, and other buildings,” he added.

Muna is hoping that Hopwood could be rebuilt within three to four years.

During the budget hearing conducted by the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday, Rep. Joseph Leepan T. Guerrero said PSS may not be able to meet its timeframe for repairing or rebuilding school facilities because of the lack of construction workers.

“That is the biggest challenge,” Muna said.

Aside from FEMA funds, he said, PSS is also hoping to receive funding from the Community Development Block Grant program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Muna said PSS is “in a conversation” with the Northern Marianas Housing Corporation, which is managing the CDBG program in the CNMI.

NMHC earlier said that PSS must return $96,000 in unused or unaccounted-for CBDG funds before the school system could be reinstated in the block grant program.

PSS has yet to return the amount to NMHC.