20 Aug 2013

State of American Samoa schools better than some - consultant

1:12 pm on 20 August 2013

A consultant working with the US Army Corps of Engineers to assess public school facilities says American Samoa is ahead of other US territories in school building renovations.

Last week the government put the start of the new school year back a week after health inspectors found unsanitary and unsafe conditions in 10 of the 30 public schools.

And yesterday education officials announced the public schools on the main island of Tutuila will be shut for a further week.

The Department of Interior's Office of Insular Affairs is undertaking a review of public school buildings which covers American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marianas and the Virigin Islands

A certified planner with a Honolulu firm, Tom Fee, says funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has helped fix a lot of school roofs in the territory but he says there are still other continuing problems.

"Water infiltration, moisture in the classroom from the ground drainage from rooves and guttering systems that are not working is probably the biggest issue across all the territories."

Tom Fee says a final report is due out in a couple of weeks.