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Leone High School dedicates two new buildings

Tuesday morning saw the dedication of two new school buildings for the Home of the Lions, Leone High School. According to Faleosina Faiai Voigt, the Director of the Department of Public Works, the buildings were worth the wait and they will be put to use immediately.


Governor Lolo M. Moliga was the keynote speaker for the dedication ceremony, and noted,“These two buildings are only the beginning, and may these projects be a firm example to all the future projects for all the public high schools in American Samoa”.


He noted this year will also see the beginning of a school gymnasium project for Leone, and commented, "A majority of our gymnasiums here on island need improvement and strong protection from outsiders, as most of these gymnasiums are being utilized by stray dogs that wander all over the place.”


The governor’s speech also had a message for the parents and PTA of Leone High School. “Leone High School has bred a lot of government leaders who are in our system today, I believe it is not hard to improve and… move Leone forward. All of you parents and alumni of this school should come together and work as a team to build a strong support and foundation for this school. This is the school that brought you to where you are now, this is the school that taught you everything you know, this is the school that made you who you are today — so it's time to give back."


The Director of Public Works — who is herself an alumni of Leone High School — also spoke during the ceremony giving special thanks to those who worked hard on the project.


She stated in a brief report, that Building A has now been named Limua’a, and the contractors who worked hard on it were Global Pacific Services, who are under the management of Joe Hollister. It is the second project awarded to Global Pacific Services; their first project was at Matafao Elementary.”


Voight stated, “this project started back in August of 2011, and it was scheduled to be a 12-month project, but we just finished in December of 2013. The overall cost of this project was $859,000.12.”


There was an additional project, she explained, which is the bridge or walkway that connects the Limua’a building with the old two-story building that has a ramp for wheel chair students. Instead of building another ramp on the new building, both buildings will share the original ramp.


Voigt added, “the other new building to be opened today, is the Moso’oipala Building, which is near the administration building. This project was started by the Wulf Corporation, and this company has built other schools, such as Manulele and Alofau.


According to Voigt, the government has been working toward using local contractors to work on these projects, “but unfortunately, we couldn’t meet the deadline with them (Wulf Corporation), so we had to go with Fletchers Construction, who finished the project on the Moso’oipala building. It took Fletcher only three months to work on this project, that is now ready for use.”


The project was given to the Wulf Corporation for $690,000, but with the conclusion of the project by Fletcher, the overall cost of the Moso’oipala project came to $885,000.


According to Voigt, the Moso'oipala project comprises six classrooms, with four classrooms on the second floor, two classrooms on the first floor, and a new computer center. The Limua’a building consists of ten classrooms, with five on each floor.


The Certificate of Occupancy for the new buildings was given to the Director of the Department of Education, Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau, while the keys to the new buildings were handed over to Leone High School’s principal, Peni Te’o.