Public Exigency Declared for Education Department Three Weeks Before School Start

Charlotte Amalie High School (File photo)
Charlotte Amalie High School (File photo)

Following news reports that Charlotte Amalie High School is going to be heavily restricted for the upcoming school year, acting Gov. Tregenza Roach issued an executive order over the weekend declaring a state of public exigency for the V.I. Education Department.

Schools across the territory were heavily damaged in 2017 during Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and while repairs have been ongoing, unforeseen circumstances such as the identification of funding sources have caused delays in the procurement of services and supplies, according to the order.

“Summer maintenance of the public school campuses, such as the Charlotte Amalie High School, has revealed critical unforeseen additional repairs, which must be completed for the health and safety of our students and teachers,” the order said. Schools are set to open Sept. 3, but much of the work is still outstanding.

The public exigency declaration will allow for Education to expedite the procurement process and complete emergency repairs without having to go out to bid, and also to secure services and supplies quickly.

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Last September, structural issues at CAHS forced the condemnation of 18 classrooms in Building B at the back part of the campus. According to media reports, an additional 10 classrooms have been condemned, with structural integrity reports citing the lack of a field, track, or courts, among other things