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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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GCC Awarded "Green" Furniture Grant for New Student Center



August 16, 2011

Washington, D.C. – Guam Community College (GCC) students will be helping to sustain the environment when they use their new Student Center this coming December. The Department of the Interior's Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Tony Babauta recently signed a $331,870.40 grant to the GCC to purchase "green" furniture and collateral equipment for the Center, scheduled to open by the end of this year. With enrollment rates up, the construction of the new Center will assist the institution in better serving its student population. Dr. Mary Okada, GCC President, thanked Secretary Babauta for his continued support for the College and congratulated Lolita Reyes, Assistant Director of the GCC Development and Alumni Relations Office, her staff, Dr. Michelle Santos, Dean of Technology and Student Services, and Barbara Leon Guerrero, program specialist for the Center for Student Involvement, for their successful grant application efforts.

The new Center will provide classrooms and testing rooms for Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, English as a second language, and Criminal Justice. The building will also include the college bookstore and a café for students.

"The acquisition of this grant highlights GCC's teamwork approach to finding creative ways to fund equipment and furniture for our new Student Center. Not only are we environmentally sustainable here at GCC, but we are also doing our share to ease the financial burden on the local government in keeping with Gov. Calvo's directive to save money," said Dr. Okada. The "green" furniture grant award for the Student Center follows the purchase of sustainable furniture for GCC's newly built, LEED-certified Learning Resource Center, and the installation of photovoltaic panels on the roofs of the LRC and the Allied Health Center.

"We want to set an example for our students and for the rest of the island on the importance of sustainability to our island's environmental and economic future," added Okada. The construction of the $4.3 million Student Center is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"The Department is pleased to continue supporting the efforts and vision of Dr. Okada at the GCC. Eco-furniture and the development of new facilities that emphasize the need for sustainability, "green" and environmentally friendly practices speak to the forward-thinking of this institution's leadership," said Babauta.