The latest accomplishment of the American Samoa Power Authority is the new Operations Center which was officially opened in a ceremony held at the ASPA compound in Tafuna. The event was well attended by many dignitaries and support personnel from ASPA.
Opening remarks were provided by Chief of Staff Fiu Saelua who greeted the gathering before introducing Father Iosefo Tupuola who provided the prayer blessing the new building and those present.
Next to speak was ASPA Executive Director Utu Abe Malae who provided an over view of the new Operations Center. He explained that the new building replaces the offices in Satala which were damaged in the Tsunami of 2009 with a vastly improved facility. Executive Director Utu acknowledged the ASPA Board and commended them for their diligence and hard work which drew a round of appreciative applause from the
gathering. He thanked Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga for his continuous support and also to former Governor Tulafono Togiola. Lieutenant Governor Lemanu Mauga was acknowledged for his liaison services. HC Utu next thanked FEMA for the financial contribution towards the construction of the new building. He enumerated the total costs of the Operations Center attributing $3.73 million from FEMA and $873,000 provided by ASPA for a total of $4.6 million. He recognized Lively and Associates as the Architects of the new building and sub-contractor Paramount Builders who built the facility. Executive Director Utu next described some of the unique features of the new building including a computer designed roof line, photo-voltaic panels to generate electricity and rainwater harvesting to provide water for commodes and landscape irrigation. The building is designed with ICT (Information Control Technology) which allows monitoring of all services provided by ASPA from the facility. The building is adorned with mixed media artwork designed by local artist Reggie Meredith and Su’a Tupuola Wilson Fitiau to be culturally relevant as well as aesthetically pleasing. The building was modeled after the ASEPA building which is a LEED Platinum certified building which is an ecology-oriented building certification program run under the auspices of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Executive Director of ASPA Utu Abe Malae said their new building is awaiting Platinum certification which will make it the most energy efficient building in the Pacific.
Lauli’i Alofa of Paramount Builders spoke next expressing appreciation to Governor Lolo, Executive Director Utu and the ASPA Board. He noted that the ASPA Executives “raised the bar” and challenged his company to complete the complex project successfully.
Honorable Governor Lolo Matalasi next addressed the gathering and lauded the completion of the ASPA Operations Center noting that this was just the latest in a series of accomplishments of HC Utu Abe Malae and the ASPA Board chaired by Fonoti Perelini Perelini. Governor Lolo commended them for always striving to achieve his directives and challenged them to continue to improve services to improve the quality of life of the people of the Territory.
First Lady Cynthia Moliga cut the ribbon to officially open the building which was followed by a tour of the facility.