Students at Tiyan High School will soon have a new multimillion-dollar gym.

The school, which opened in August, broke ground yesterday on a new gymnasium, slated to open in September.

Tiyan High currently has a gym, but the space is not adequate to serve a high school, Gov. Calvo's chief education adviser Vince Leon Guerrero said.

"The current gym was designed as a practice gym," he said. "However, the space will not be wasted."

The new gym will cost $576,218.61 annually for a 25-year term, or a total of $14.4 million, Leon Guerrero said.

The government of Guam signed an agreement last year with Core Tech International to purchase Tiyan property, including the high school, in exchange for $245 million in tax credits.

The new gym will not be funded using tax credits, Leon Guerrero said, and the annual payments will have to be factored into the budget.

The new gym will be 16,000 square feet and house a full basketball court, two basketball half-courts, a volleyball court and girls' and boys' locker rooms with showers, Core Tech International project manager Jun Ganaan said.

The project has an expected completion date of Sept. 30.

Unity

Tiyan High senior and Associated Body of Students President Janay Masga said the new gym will help to unify the student body and push students to do well in their classes.

"The importance of having a new gym is that it helps the students," Masga said. "A lot of people don't see the importance of it, but especially for athletics, it will push students to do better in school just so they can play the sport they love."

Though Masga will be graduating in May and will no longer be a student at Tiyan, she said she is excited about the new gym.

When the announcement of the new gym was made, Masga said, students began uniting and discussing all the ways the gym could bring the campus together.

This is the first year of the new high school, which had to select its mascot and school colors and form a new sports program.

"This gymnasium will finally give our athletes a place to call home, and for our student body, a place for activities," she said. "This gym is just the beginning for the Tiyan Titans. It is just one of the many tools we need to achieve our goals, and I can't wait to see this school grow."

Old gym repurposed

Guam Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez said he hopes the school's administrative offices can be relocated to the old gym once the new one is built.

"Offices being centrally located on campus will help with supervision of the school," he said.

Fernandez also said he would like to see student resource areas, including graduation assistance programs, set up in the space.

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Information from: Pacific Daily News: http://www.guampdn.com