New Director Says CNMI Museum Not Fit To Receive Guests

Aquino hopes legislature, business community can help restore leaking, moldy facility

By Kimberly A. Bautista

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, May 31, 2017) – The newly appointed director of the CNMI Museum needs help restoring the museum, now crusty with time and unrepaired roof damage.

The CNMI Museum has reached a point where it is in no state to receive guests and visitors and its director, Daniel Aquino, hopes the Legislature and the business community can help him restore some luster to the museum.

Most of the building’s damage date back to August 2015, when Typhoon Soudelor laid waste to Saipan, but the building has essentially been in need of repairs even before then. Since Soudelor, though, the roof has been leaking, the floors were completely flooded, and mold completely stains the museum’s walls.

According to Aquino, the museum should be preserved because it holds many of the island’s original artifacts. He said the most critical repairs that are needed are roof repairs and plumbing.

Because of its current shape, the museum is closed until repairs are made on the roof and plumbing can be addressed. According to Aquino, it’s dangerous to open with the puddles of water on the floors.

Many of the paintings and artifacts that date back many years have been severely damaged by the leaks and the building mold that have accumulated over a long period of time.

Most of what is being done is maintaining the museum’s surroundings. This week the Saipan’s Office of the Mayor assisted Aquino with the beautification of the museum’s environs.

According to Saipan Mayor’s Office operations manager Joann Aquino, the task of maintaining the grounds has fallen on the office of the mayor since Daniel Aquino did not inherit any staff when he got appointed to the museum.

Daniel Aquino has one maintenance man, but he is currently on sick leave.

Daniel Aquino said he is extremely grateful to Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang and his field personnel who provide ground maintenance, which included tree trimming, bush cutting, water blasting, and debris removal.

According to Daniel Aquino, the museum also urgently needs air conditioning units. The museum’s old AC—a 24,000 BTU split type unit—was damaged by Typhoon Soudelor. Even then, it was barely cooling the entire museum.

According to Daniel Aquino, Federal Emergency Management Agency only approved one unit, a split type 26,000 BTU unit.

Aquino, along with the CNMI Museum’s board of governors, is working closely to address the pressing issues. “We are making progress and ask for the public’s patience,” he said.

Saipan Tribune
Copyright © 2017. Saipan Tribune. All Rights Reserved

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment