Calvo congratulates DOE for UMS modernization progress
Modernization of other schools on the horizon
“I remember walking through those halls and seeing what those students had to go through. I remember challenging public officials to use those restrooms if they thought that nothing should be done to help the UMS family. I’m glad we made the decisions we made. Because of those decisions, the UMS family will have a campus they deserve. Jon Fernandez and his team are doing a great job.” — Governor Eddie Baza Calvo
Governor Calvo is pleased with the progress DOE is making with the renovation of Untalan Middle School. He is excited that the project is on time, meaning the students, faculty, and staff of UMS will move back home, to a beautiful and safe campus.
Why is UMS being modernized?
The renovations were necessary because of the unsafe and unsanitary conditions the UMS family was exposed to every day.
In November 2011, a UMS teacher contacted Governor Calvo directly, asking him to visit the school and see for himself the conditions they endured. On November 21, 2011, the Governor toured the school and found:
–       Restrooms filled with sewage backup
–       Students walking through and playing in a flooded courtyard because of the lack of drainage
–       Holes in the floors of classrooms
–       Deteriorating walkways
–       Classrooms that reportedly were as hot as 90 degrees
–       Air conditioning units that constantly tripped due to electrical issues
–       Much of the student population still studying in old, crumbling ‘temporary’ classrooms
The fight for the students
Governor Calvo and his administration pled for the then-board of education to shut the school down. The Tiyan campus, which JFKHS had just left, went back on the table for consideration after the Governor canceled the lease of that property. Finally, in early 2012, health and fire inspectors inspected the school and immediately shut it down as an imminent threat to the health and safety of the UMS family.
UMS since has been operating at the Tiyan facility, which will become a high school when UMS moves out.
Governor Calvo led the effort to modernize UMS even before ARRA funds were dedicated to its renovation at the current level. He pushed for better conditions for the UMS family despite major pushback from some members of the board of education at that time, and from senators who also criticized the move. And he moved on to finding solutions for the graduates of UMS: the George Washington High School family.
THE NEXT STEP: $100M in modernization of the other schools
The progress DOE is making with the UMS modernization project is a testament to DOE and the Governor’s working commitment to the students.
This progress is a precursor to the larger modernization effort currently in the planning stages in the administration. This will allow $100 million in modernization of the other public schools, starting with GWHS and Simon Sanchez High School.

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