January 24, 2011

By FSM Information Service
The Kaselehlie Press

Palikir, Pohnpei-This week, Pohnpeians took part in groundbreaking ceremonies for the construction of three new classroom buildings: one for Nett Elementary School on January 10, one for Saladak Elementary School on January 11 and one for Sapwalap Elementary School on January 12.

The total cost for the three new buildings has been estimated at $5,307,827, based on Pacific International, Inc.'s successful bid on the project. Pacific International, Inc. is headquartered in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and will be working with Lyon Associates from Honolulu, the selected designers for the classroom buildings. Pacific International, Incorporated was represented at each of the ceremonies by their project manager, Deborah Kramer Shoniber. Etscheit Enterprises is involved in a joint venture with P.I.I. for the three new school projects.

In Nett, the ceremony was attended by Isonahnken Iriarte of Nett, Nahnkeniei Nett, Governor Ehsa, Vice Speaker Primo, Secretary Shoniber, JoEllen Gorg of the U.S. Embassy in Pohnpei,mHon. Edmond, Nett District Adminisrtator; Senator Loyola, Senator Nakasone, John Adolph of the National Project Management Unit (PMU), many other national, state and municipal officials, as well as teachers and students of Nett Elementary School.

In Saladak and Sapwalap, the ceremony was attended by His Majesty Wasa Lapalap Isopahu, Nanmwarki of Madolenihmw, Her Majesty Likend Madolenihmw, Governor Ehsa, Secretary Shoniber, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, Lori Dando; John Adolph of PMU, as well as many other national, state and municipal officials, and the teachers and students of each municipality's Elementary School. Saladak also saw the presence of His Majesty Wasalapalap Sohngoro, Nahnmwarki of U, Her Majesty Likend Pahu, Isonahnken Joseph of U, Nahnkeniei of U, and Chief Minister Hon. Donre.

In Saladak, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, Lori Dando, expressed her joy in seeing that work was progressing well with the building of new schools in Pohnpei, "which is," she said, "one of the major undertakings of the Amended Compact." Dando also emphasized that these projects represent the "continued partnership between FSM and the US." Governor Ehsa affirmed that Pohnpei was "fully appreciative of this special relationship."

Secretary Shoniber reminded everyone present that new classrooms are not the only factor to help improve students' performances; he reminded the parents and teachers that they all need to work together in order to improve academic results and ensure that "all children of FSM will lead fulfilling and productive lives," a warranted under Title 40 of the FSM Code. The Nahnmwarki of Madolenihmw extended the municipality's thanks to the National Government, the Pohnpei State Government, and to the US Government for making these projects possible in FSM.