October 15, 2008

By Bill Jayes
The Kaselehlie Press

Dekehtik, Pohnpei - Dignitaries gathered at 9 o'clock in the morning on Tuesday September 30 to celebrate a ribbon cutting ceremony for Pohnpei Port Authority's new administration building. PPA Manager Ieske Iehse said that the new building will house in one building all seventy- one employees who work for the six divisions of PPA. It will also be the venue for the PPA Board of Directors meetings.

Iehse said that the plan for the building is part of PPA's mission statement: "To plan, establish, develop, construct, enlarge, improve, maintain, equip, operate and regulate the ports within Pohnpei State."

Previously employees of the six divisions of Pohnpei Port Authority have been housed in separate facilities. In March of 2002 employees of the Seaport Division and Finance Division of PPA were forced to relocate to a building on the newly completed Fisheries Dock due to unsafe conditions of the previous Administration Building which was subsequently demolished. The new building stands on the same site as the previously demolished building.

EH Roque Architects won the bid for soil engineering and architectural and engineering plans for the new building on March 3, 2006. They completed the architectural and engineering plans on June 19, 2006 with construction costs estimated at over $923,000 excluding mobilization costs.

4TY, a local construction company was awarded the contract to construct the new Administration Building in December of that year with a winning bid of over $768,000. Construction began on April 14, 2007 with the completion date set for January 9, 2008. Construction was completed in September of 2008 due to change orders and subsequent time extensions. The final cost for the building was $977,599.79.

Reverend Bender Enicar gave the invocation at the dedication ceremony. Ieske Iehse in addition to serving as the Master of Ceremonies spoke on behalf of Board Chair Albert Panuelo who was absent. Speaker Nelson N. Pelep of the Pohnpei State Legislature gave memorable remarks followed by Keynote Speaker Lt. Governor Churchill B. Edward. Iso Nahnken of the Kingdom of Nett Salvador Iriarte had the final say at the ceremony. Father Dave A. Andrus blessed the building and the ribbon cutting was performed by First Lady Mrs. Julinida Ehsa, Second Lady Mrs. Nancy Edward, and Mrs. Nieves Pelep.

Barry Brayer, Manager of the Micronesian Program of the FAA and Ron Simpson, Manager of the FAA Honolulu Airports District Office were also in attendance at the ceremony.