BY WAYNE CHARGUALAF
Journal Staff

Okada

Guam Community College will use the current Guam Trades Academy building in Barrigada as a temporary classroom and training facility after the trades academy moves to its new home in Tiyan, according to John Dela Rosa, assistant director of communications and promotions for GCC.

The building will be used as a temporary home for classes that must be held off the main GCC campus while their permanent homes are being built or renovated.

“For instance, if we’re going to renovate the building that currently holds automotive classes, those classes will move to the Barrigada building until renovations are complete,” Dela Rosa said. “Once those renovations are done, the automotive class will move back into its building on GCC’s campus and another class whose building is being renovated will rotate in.”

The building may permanently house classes once renovations and upgrades are done, but the best use for the facility will be determined at that time, Dela Rosa said.

The GCC Foundation finalized its $1.2 million purchase of the 8,000-square-foot facility in Barrigada on Nov. 15.

Dela Rosa

GCC and the trades academy are currently in discussions as to what equipment the trades academy will leave behind for use by GCC and what will be retained and brought to the new academy facility in Tiyan. Although there are no plans to do any significant renovations to the Barrigada facility, GCC is assessing what changes will be made to the building once the trades academy moves out.

“We’re trying to balance out our needs versus the existing space and amenities,” Dela Rosa said. “There’s a structure within the building above some office space that may be used for our electrical training room, because it needs to be enclosed. The automotive program, though, would require a lot of space for cars. So things like that are being taken into consideration.”

The Guam Trades Academy — which is closely associated with the Guam Contractors Association — is slated to begin operations in its new facility in Tiyan in late 2020, according Herbert Johnson Jr., education director of the Guam Trades Academy (See “Trades academy building set to open in 2020” in the Dec. 23 issue of The Journal).

Work on the new trades academy facility in Tiyan began on Oct. 28. The 20,000-square-foot facility will be created by renovating two warehouses that were purchased from Core Tech International for $2 million. Architecture and design work was done by Taniguchi Ruth Makio Architects, engineering work by Dueñas, Camacho & Associates Inc. and renovation and construction by Mega United Corp. Funding for the project is by way of a $2 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and an additional $2 million borrowed from Bank of Guam through a loan secured by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Acquisition of the trades academy’s Barrigada facility is part of GCC’s plans for future upgrades to the campus.

Guam Community College is slated for new upgrades.

Photo from GCC website

“The college has been focusing on increasing the number of classrooms and faculty offices over the past several years,” Mary Okada, president of GCC, said. “The next phase is to begin renovations to the Student Services building and construct a facilities and wellness building.”

GCC’s plan to renovate the student services building — Building E — involves a near total rebuild on the same footprint as the current structure with additional structures built onto it.

“We call it a renovation but it’s going to be a drastic difference,” Dela Rosa said, “We’re going from some largely butler tin structures to a modern, LEED certified wing that’s going to be concrete. It’s going to be a bigger renovation than just gutting the place and fixing the inside.”

Architecture and engineering services for the building will be done by Taniguchi Ruth Makio Architects. The designs are currently going through the regulatory review and permitting process. A bid for construction will be issued once the process is complete.

A new building is planned to house GCC’s facilities department as well as a wellness center. The new building is planned to be located next to building 2000 — the administrative building — and the firing range. No bids have yet been issued for the project, although GCC plans to issue bids later this year. mbj