US to Spend Up To $60 Million for School at Guantanamo Naval Base

By Tracey Eaton  (alongthemalecon)

Air Force Tech Sgt. Sonya Faucette reads a story to children in a 3rd grade class at W.T. Sampson School. Photo: Army Staff Sgt. Blair Heusdens
Air Force Tech Sgt. Sonya Faucette reads a story to children in a 3rd grade class at W.T. Sampson School. Photo: Army Staff Sgt. Blair Heusdens

HAVANA TIMES — At a time when the Obama administration and the Cuban government are involved in negotiations to make possible a normalization of their newly restored diplomatic relations, the US Navy has plans to replace the W.T. Sampson School at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

The school opened in 1931. It is the Department of Defense’s oldest overseas school for dependents of US military personnel.

Prospective contractors interested in the job were tentatively scheduled to visit the site this week. The Navy expects to award the contract around Jan. 31, 2016. The estimated cost: from $40-$60 million dollars. (See 724-page document showing specifications).

Students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade attend the school. It is named after Rear Admiral William Thomas Sampson, whose fleet helped prevent Spanish vessels from leaving the harbor of Santiago de Cuba on June 1, 1898, during the Spanish-American War. Sampson was later named a U.S. commissioner of Cuba.

Rear Admiral William T. Sampson
Rear Admiral William T. Sampson

The school carrying his name will have “a steel frame and reinforced masonry walls with decorative masonry and hard coat stucco veneer.”

The project description states:

“Roofing may be standing seam metal with some areas of low slope membrane. Interior spaces include neighborhoods, learning studios, learning hubs, information center, computing center, science labs, gymnasium, performance spaces, commons/dining, food service, supply areas, specialist rooms, art room, music room, band room, science lab, learning impaired space, OT/PT space, career technical education, counseling areas, storage, health offices, administrative offices, staff collaboration areas, and other required areas for a fully functioning elementary-middle-high school.”


14 thoughts on “US to Spend Up To $60 Million for School at Guantanamo Naval Base

  • October 24, 2015 at 9:35 am
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    I’m from San Francisco. I have visited Miami at least once a year for the last 6 years. Miami is nothing special despite its Cuban influences.

  • October 23, 2015 at 3:57 pm
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    Romanticizing Cubans is becoming an Olympic sport. The truth is that there is nothing special about being CUBAN. It is what happens to all human beings when their backs are against the wall. My grandparents said the same thing you said about depression-era Americans, and my mother speaks fondly of her generation that fought WWII. If there were something special about Cubans, you’d see it in Miami where the “playing field” is more than level for Cubans. The Russians and the Chinese are nearly as technologically as advanced as the US and Cuba can trade freely with both of these countries. The US embargo is no excuse for Cuba’s technology problems.

  • October 23, 2015 at 1:08 pm
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    You want “standardized” tests in Cuba? LMAO. There is nothing there that is “Standardized.”

    I do agree with you on the technology being better in the US. Especially, where you reside. But, the US embargo is responsible for that.

    I have a website, for example that teaches people how to make a responsive website in 3 minutes. I held a Hackathon in Havana. I wanted to use that website in Cuba to teach people how to make a living Online. But, the software uses a Google App, and Google has an embargo on Cuba. So, yes, due to the embargo against Cuba-advantage USA in that department.

    But, motivation, enthusiasm and a spirit to learn-Hands down-Cuba wins in that department. The average attention span of a kid in the USA is less than a fish-Google it if you don’t believe me. “Smart” phones have made our kids “dumb.”

    An American driving and fixing up a 50-60 year old car? haha that would be a sight! Cuban’s go with the flow and find a way around obstacles thrown at them by both governments.

    Cuban’s are resourceful despite living under a Communist government and being embargoed by a Capitalistic one. I like those people. They are winners and when the playing field evens out, they will thrive.

  • October 22, 2015 at 8:47 am
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    I’m not sure what your beef with the US is about but there are better blogs that are designed for people who want to bitch about the US. If you can refute my comments with the facts and provide links to those facts, then I welcome the debate. Albeit cute but meaningless comments, however, are unwelcome.

  • October 20, 2015 at 6:13 am
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    No they are not. I have Cuban kids. Don’t believe the hype. If you have standardized test comparisons to support your comment, show me the link. Cuban schools beat Guatemalan and Bolivian schools no doubt. But come up short against most first world schools in nearly every measure, including those in the US. By the way, I was talking about the infrastructure. My kids here in San Francisco go to a school that has access to the world through technology. Cuban schools don’t even have fans in the classroom unless the parents buy it.

  • October 19, 2015 at 11:56 am
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    Have you seen Cuban schools? No thanks.

  • October 19, 2015 at 9:15 am
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    Understood and agreed. My comment simply reflects my doubts that Obama will close the prison anytime soon. Failing that, the base will remain in US control.

  • October 18, 2015 at 1:29 pm
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    Don’t confuse large Guantanamo Naval Base with the small prison for terrorists which the US operates in part of the base. The prison is a very small part of the overall facility. Obama may succeed in closing the prison, but the US naval base will remain.

  • October 16, 2015 at 11:13 am
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    Relocating the remaining 80+ detainees, arguably the worst of the worst, is a real problem. The countries that will accept them would be the worst places to send them and the countries that could adequately receive them, don’t want them. Closing Gitmo won’t happen any time soon.

  • October 16, 2015 at 9:22 am
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    If the US Navy is planning on spending $60 million on a new school on the US base at Guantanamo, it does not sound like the US is thinking about handing over the base to Cuba anytime soon.

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