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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor: Infrastructure still a concern as classes resume

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Wednesday that the information he has received is that the resumption of classes this week at the island’s public schools went off without major setbacks. Nonetheless, the issue of infrastructure and short columns remains a concern, he said.

Students returned to classes on Tuesday.

“We are having a good school restart based on all the information that comes to me, that the secretary provides me,” the governor said during a visit to the Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos second unit school in Aguas Buenas. “At the same time, the materials are there because the debit card, the P-card, is being used by school principals, so there is no reason for materials to be missing when they have that debit card available. I would say the biggest challenge we still have is the infrastructure. This particular school is in very good condition. I visited here at the beginning of last semester. I saw, along with Mayor Karina Nieves, some deficiencies. We pointed them out and the Public Buildings Authority, obviously in collaboration as a team with the [Education] Department, addressed them.”

The Education Department is running an ongoing maintenance program.

“For example, right now we have more than 100 schools where short columns are being repaired, they’re the ones that are missing, they’re the ones that had the most short columns that were the most challenging,” Pierluisi said. “When that happens, we often fall into what is called ‘interlocking,’ That may mean that students have to go to another school at a different time while that major construction is taking place, but we hope that by the end of this year practically all the issues of the short columns will be resolved.”

“So that what we are left with is again, situations such as painting, roof sealing that is being done …” the governor added. “And there are other things such as, for example, what we suffered in the summer, the heat that was taken care of by buying fans. A feasibility study is being done on what would be the cost of installing air conditioners in all schools; our private schools, most of them do not have air conditioning either. And, it’s not just installing the air conditioning, it’s that the electrical substation that serves the particular school has the capacity for that.

“So everything is being taken care of. It’s a smooth process, but I have to say that this restart is happening in a very good way.”

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Oscar Melendez
Oscar Melendez
Jan 11

Transfieran las escuelas públicas a los municipios con el presupuesto para su administración. Eliminen el Departamento de Educación

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