NMTI applies for $10M grant

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NORTHERN Marianas Technical Institute Chief Executive Officer Agnes M. McPhetres is confident that the U.S. Economic Development Administration will approve NMTI’s $10 million grant application for the construction of a new campus in Koblerville.

“We are the top [candidate] to get it, but there are two requirements that we have not met yet,” she added. “We need a report from the Division of Fish and Wildlife stating that the area is not a breeding ground for certain species, and another report from the Historic Preservation Office on the possible presence of ancestral remains in the area. Those are the things that are holding us. But when the reports are finished, then we will submit them to Washington, D.C. and the money, hopefully, can be released.”

The Department of Public Lands, with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ approval, has designated a 15,000-square-meter land for NMTI near the Koblerville Gymnasium.

McPhetres said once the $10 million is released to NMTI, the construction of a new campus will begin, and it will include a cafeteria and dormitory, among other facilities.

“It may take about two years for the completion of the construction,” she added.

“We are moving away from here,” McPhetres said, referring to the current NMTI campus in Lower Base. “This is [in] a flood zone. When it rains, we have to watch whether the water is coming in. It is not adequate for a trade school.”

She expects to get an update about the NMTI grant application by February or March 2020.

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