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No decision yet on where to build new Hopwood campus

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THE Public School System intends to build a new campus for Hopwood Middle School, but the Board of Education has yet to identify a location, outgoing PSS facilities development and management director Rachel Fusco said on Wednesday.

“The plan is to build a new facility. It is just a question of where. The site needs to be identified,” Fusco added.

She said PSS will have adequate funding — about $23 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency — for the new facility.

During the BOE’s Capital Improvement Projects Committee meeting on Wednesday, its chairman Herman Atalig and members MaryLou Ada, Janice Tenorio, and Paul Miura discussed the possibility of building the new Hopwood campus at the As Perdido site currently occupied by Northern Marianas College-Cooperative Research and Extension Education Services agricultural program.

Tenorio said the NMC-CREES agricultural program will move to Kagman, which will make the As Perdido site available for Hopwood.

Fusco said the other option is constructing a new, state-of-the-art facility at the Chalan Piao campus of Hopwood.

Fusco is also recommending repairing some classrooms at Hopwood in the interim, until the new school is built. “The 19 classrooms that are in fully concrete buildings only need minor renovations, this would enable the students to move out of the tents,” she said, referring to the temporary campus of Hopwood in Koblerville.

“It is going to take a long time for the new campus to be built,” she added.

The project worksheet has not been obligated yet, Fusco told the board.

“Proposals have to be generated. The timeline for generating proposals is 18 months and then they have four years to work [on the project],” she added.

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