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Matafao Elementary dedicates new building

On Tuesday, February 14 — Valentine’s Day — Matafao Elementary School held a dedication ceremony for their new two story building that had its groundbreaking ceremony 16 months ago.

The building is home to four new classrooms on the second floor, and at ground level, a dining room that can accommodate up to 100 students at a time.

Each classroom is approximately 785 square feet, while the dining room downstairs is a spacious 1,500 square feet, with a 400 square foot commercial kitchen, a pantry, storage space, janitor’s closet and girls and boys toilet facilities.

The project was funded by the U.S. Department of Interior, while the supervision, construction management and inspection were performed by the Department of Public Works. The  project was constructed by Global Pacific Services for the amount of $730,000, with a contract time of 210 calendar days.

Gov. Togiola Tulafono was the keynote speaker, giving special remarks in Samoan during the dedication ceremony.

On the ceremony dedication program, which was passed out during the ceremony, Togiola noted that “it was only 16 months ago that we pushed shovels into the soil to break ground and ask for God’s blessing for this new building. Now we have come together today to dedicate this wonderful, new structure for all of our children that attend Matafao Elementary School and to also celebrate a promise that American Samoa will do what it takes to give its children a quality education.”

“You should be very proud of this new addition to the Home of the Marlins,” he said, adding that the new building “is as bright and exciting as our children’s future” and “it is the hope and prayer of the American Samoa Government and the Department of Education that this new building will reach, challenge and prepare a whole new generation of learners.”

“ With God’s love, may the school administration, faculty and staff carry on the promise that everyday, they will do their best to make life better for the students of Matafao Elementary,” Togiola said.

According to an information pamphlet handed out, the new building meets building codes, and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title III requirements, by providing a disabled-accessible ramp constructed up to the second level.

The new building, which is built along the shoreline in Faga’alu as part of the Matafao campus, was constructed to withstand Category Five hurricanes or cyclones, the pamphlet said.