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Saipan Tribune: NMC looks at improving all campuses (January 11, 2017)

The Northern Marianas College is planning to embark on a massive facility improvement project across all its campuses.

NMC president Dr. Carmen Fernandez shared with Saipan Tribune on Monday her plans to improve NMC facilities on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. Although a final plan has yet to be made, Fernandez assures there would not be a lack of parking space for the constantly growing NMC student population.

“For sure, there would be ample space for parking and the gym facility would still remain there. I plan to have an atrium, so that if the students decide to be there and study there, they could,” said Fernandez, referring to plans for the Saipan campus.

Fernandez declined to share details about the plans for the Tinian and Rota campuses, but said, “Also included in the facilities planning is Rota and Tinian.” Fernandez said master planning is key to the whole project, and “from that, [NMC will get] an estimate of how much the building would cost before going to financing and ultimately breaking ground.”

The additional $1 million the college got in the supplemental appropriations under Public Law 19-75 is a big help to starting the college’s plans, Fernandez said.

“$1 million is just a small amount, but at least it would help us cover for the master planning, which is the most critical step. We are just going to start the process now,” she said.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres signed PL 19-75 HB into law last Dec. 19, 2016. It appropriates more than $40 million to various government agencies and programs. Authored by Rep. Antonio Sablan (Ind-Saipan), government agencies such as the Public School System, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., Commonwealth Utilities Corp., NMC, and retirees are among those that received a paycheck after the signing.

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