AG: Why did it take 10 months for the administration to issue the RFP for Simon Sanchez High School construction management?

Douglas Moylan

Douglas Moylan is questioning why the administration took 10 months to issue a request for proposals to get the ball rolling on the rebuilding of Simon Sanchez High School. His comments were in response to the governor’s office, which blamed the attorney general for the latest round of delays in the decade-old empty promise by GovGuam to the Yigo school’s students and stakeholders.

The blame from the governor’s office was cast in the wake of a town hall meeting with SSHS students last month, when hundreds booed Lou Leon Guerrero and celebrated Mr. Barnett’s verbal assault of her inability thus far to make good on her campaign promise six years ago to rebuild the school.

“It’s been ten months since the Legislature changed Guam law to simplify the procurement process used to rebuild Simon Sanchez,” a post-town hall statement from the governor’s office reads. “Now, with the design complete, the Department of Public Works (DPW) would like to select a Construction Manager and put them to work, but this cannot proceed because of an Attorney General who has willfully chosen to abandon his Organic Act duties and the Simon Sanchez community.”

The attorney general, however, shot back, with receipts.

“Contrary to that talking point at the recent town hall gathering at JFK, my staff has been assisting the government of Guam through [Department of Public Works] with the procurement of the construction manager by DPW to build Simon Sanchez High School, and helping with the most recent protest of the RFP,” Mr. Moylan said. “As recently as April 17, 2024, we advised them on the protest and followed up on April 26, 2024, with no response [from DPW].”

Emails to DPW director Vince Arriola and deputy director Linda Ibanez remain unanswered (except for Ms. Ibanez’s confirmation that she received the email) one week after Kandit asked the heads of the agency for their response to the attorney general’s evidence that his office in fact has been trying to help DPW with the SSHS procurement with no response from the agency.

The RFP was issued only this year, even though senators authorized the construction management procurement nearly a year ago.

“We remain concerned why DPW waited so long to issue the RFP for this important service when the law authorized the construction about 10 months ago,” Mr. Moylan said. “We had been inquiring with DPW about that delay.”


The political resurrection of the SSHS rebuilding issue

On May 1 – to the thunderous roar of hundreds at a legislative town hall meeting on Simon Sanchez High School rebuilding – Mr. Barnett went on a three-minute tirade about the governor’s failure to make good on her promise to rebuild SSHS… as the governor herself stared him down two chairs away.

The freshman senator, who chairs the legislative education oversight committee, emphasized to the SSHS students that politicians since 2013 have been promising them and their predecessors that campus development would soon be underway. The SSHS campus has been shut down due to major safety and health issues. The students, who were assembled at the John F. Kennedy High School campus for the town hall, are sharing the school through a double session program.

SSHS students punctuated every one of his sentences with riotous applause, shouting even louder each time the senator told students not to believe what the governor had just told them about the progress the administration is making toward the more-than-decade-old promise to rebuild the Yigo campus.

People in the crowd captured a confrontation between the governor and the senator following the town hall meeting, where the governor could be seen pointing her finger at Mr. Barnett’s face while she and the senator were exchanging words. The viral videos could not capture what was said, as they were filmed from far off. Mr. Barnett, in a leaked conversation about that confrontation, said the governor yelled expletives at him and insinuated she physically assaulted him during the confrontation.

The SSHS campus development saga has had several twists and turns since 2013, when educator Gretchen Andres and her students first made public waves about the conditions at the school. Several procurement attempts have faltered.

You may watch Mr. Barnett’s speech here:



  • Frank Perez

      05/15/2024 at 4:49 AM

    The smug look on both Governor and Lt. Governor reveals all! Fire up the community, and guaranteed action to build a new SSHS will be like a powder keg of dynamite lit and about to explode. Sometimes it takes a leader with cahones to make things happen. KUDOS to Senator Barnett!

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