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Saipan Tribune: NMC reports progress in repairs (September 25, 2019)

Although the Northern Marianas College has seen total devastation in the wake of Super Typhoon Yutu, they have done everything it can to make its campus a safe and viable space for its students.

In fact, NMC acting president Frankie Eliptico said the As Terlaje campus Student Transition Center is 50% complete. The center serves as a site for students to interact while waiting for classes which holds 100 to 150 students.

He added that NMC has completed repairs on its J Building for its Cooperative Research Extension & Educational Services office and are nearing completions for its M Building, which houses the Language & Humanities department.

Eliptico said that these repairs are part of NMC’s short-term recovery efforts. As part of the short-term recovery efforts, he said that they have added exterior lighting throughout the campus, as the NMC conducts evening classes, and added barriers to cover up the buildings that have yet to be demolished.

Eliptico said that NMC has sent a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and Request for Proposals (RFP) regarding the demolition of the buildings that are currently covered up by the in-place barriers.

For its long-term recovery, NMC intends to rebuild an entirely different campus that will feature classrooms amongst instructional buildings, computer labs, specialty labs, a student resource center, student resource center, buildings for the different fields offered by NMC (Schools of Business, Nursing, Education, and Criminal justice), student housing, and a gymnasium.

NMC is currently in the process of receiving recovery funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as the college has been awarded funding through FEMA’s Section 428, or Alternative Procedures Program.

Eliptico noted that the program allows NMC to use the reimbursed funds that would be provided for repairing different buildings, and use it for the construction of the new facilities of NMC.

Eliptico added that NMC has also applied for grants from the U.S. Economic Development Agency’s Workforce Development Center, the Community Development Block Grant through the Northern Marianas Housing Corp., and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to aid NMC in its long-term recovery efforts.

NMC reported that it has lost 37 out of its classrooms from Super Typhoon Yutu. The CNMI’s lone community college even had to conduct classes at Saipan Southern High School for about three months this year.

NMC also lost a number of its faculty offices, and were forced to use certain areas of the campus to make room for the faculty offices’ relocations. Eliptico said that NMC had to demolish some of its buildings as they were deemed unsafe for use and cannot be repaired.

Currently NMC conducts its classes in a total of two classrooms and 24 temporary pods, 19 in the southern part of its campus and five in its northern part.

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