All Am Samoa public schools now have on-going building projects
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Two more public schools buildings broke ground last Friday morning as the Lolo Administration heads towards the end of its term in government while the project to build a new centralized Education Department building has been re-bid.
Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga and Education director Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga were accompanied by ASG officials and others to attend the two groundbreaking ceremonies, starting with Alataua Lua Elementary School at Nua and Se’etaga followed by Pavaiai Elementary School at Pavaiai.
Public Works director Faleosina Voigt said that 14 bids were received for this two-story project, with the lowest bid amount at $753,000 with the highest at $1.3 million and the engineer’s cost at $830,000.
The first-floor will have one classroom, cafeteria and dining section as well as restrooms for students while the second floor will have four classrooms. Contractor for the project is J’s General, which has a time frame of 8 months to complete it.
Some projects carried out by the company, include the Port warehouse, ASG housing warehouse at Lions Park, a two-story building at South Pacific Academy and the ECE at Aunu’u.
In his remarks, the governor instructed DPW to bring in machinery this week to start clearing a hill area behind the school in order to install a rock-wall to prevent landslides going onto the school campus.
He said the groundbreaking for Alataua Lua and Pavaiai Elementary means that there are now on-going projects for all public schools in the territory. He said these projects put money into the hands of local contractors and that money circulates into the local economy.
For the Pavaiai Elementary project, Voigt said eleven contractors submitted bids — with the lowest at $832,752 to the highest at $1.1 million while the engineer’s cost came in at $926,000. It’s a two-story building — identical to the new school building project at Fagaitua High School — with the first floor to house three-classrooms and restrooms. The second floor will have four classrooms.
The project has been awarded to Pentagon Samoa Construction, which recently completed — among its many projects, the Territorial Administration on Aging compound in Tafuna — and has 8 months to complete the new school building.
In his remarks, the governor said Pavaiai Elementary is the largest public school in the territory in terms of enrollment followed by Tafuna High School. He says that there is limited land for development of Pavaiai Elementary.
He also said that of the public schools with enrollment of more than 500 students, Pavaiai is the only one without a gym, which is now being included in the next fiscal year budget.
He explained that once this new building is completed, students will be relocated from one of the current buildings, which will then be turned into a gym.
Lolo noted at least three more ASDOE projects have pending groundbreaking, which is the Manua Consolidate School — scheduled to have its ground breaking today; the E-Rate Building (being relocated from its current site in Utulei) and the centralized ASDOE building (to be relocated from Utulei).
The governor didn’t give a time frame for when the E-Rate and the new centralized ASDOE buildings will have a ground breaking, but he did note that these will be the last projects before Dr. Matagi-Tofiga leaves office — as the current Administration comes to an end.
Lolo said that once all of the ongoing projects are completed, the ASDOE will be prepared for the next 10 years to provide education to students. He told the audience that the work done today would benefit future generations of American Samoa.
The governor claims that many people have questioned why a lot of government funding has gone to ASDOE and the answer is that education is the future of American Samoa.
ASDOE NEW BUILDING
The ASG Procurement Office on Nov. 23rd, issued a notice of Re-Bid for the construction of the new ASDOE Centralized Administration Office Building to be located at Mapusaga Fou. Closing date for bid submission is Dec. 9th. (See yesterday’s Samoa News edition for the paid ad.)
The project was initially put out for bid to be located on the lower campus of Tafuna High School, but following a petition from the school’s Parents and Teacher Association and others, the governor opted to have the building constructed elsewhere.