Guam – At the same time Guam Community College officials were meeting the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s new state director for Hawaii and the Western Pacific Region this week, the college received formal word that it had been awarded a $2.25 million Community Facilities direct loan by the federal agency.
Dr. Mary Okada, GCC president, and Joseph Diego, Guam’s U.S.D.A. Rural Development area director, along with Doris Perez, GCC’s assistant director of Planning and Development and several other officials, met with Chris Kanazawa, the newly appointed Hawaii/Western Pacific Region state director for U.S.D.A. Rural Development, on Tuesday. At the meeting, Mr. Kanazawa announced that GCC was one of 145 government entities across 37 states and territories just awarded American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for projects.
GCC will use its loan to help fund the cost of construction of the LRC, which will be the government of Guam’s first LEED-certified building, equipped with photovoltaics and digital controls to monitor energy usage. The college also received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Asian American & Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (ANAPISI) grant program to support the construction.
“We are excited about receiving formal word of this loan award from U.S.D.A. Our new Learning Resource Center is a vital educational addition to our campus, as it will provide our students with state-of-the-art technological resources,” said Dr. Okada. Construction of the LRC is scheduled for completion at the end of this year.
A U.S.D.A. media release noted that the $167.8 million in Recovery Act projects announced this week are funded through the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Program and will be matched with $60 million from other sources. Funding of each loan and grant is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the agreement. The release quoted Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that, "These Recovery Act projects not only provide needed infrastructure in rural communities, they contribute to the Obama administration’s continued efforts to turn the economy around and create quality jobs."