HONOLULU - Portable classroom structures used during last year’s emergency lava evacuation for Keonepoko Elementary School will now go to two public high schools in an effort to reduce classroom overcrowding and help with a renovation project.
The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) leased 10 portable structures to create Keonepoko Elementary School North in October 2014 when encroaching lava threatened the school. In May 2015, the emergency was lifted and the Keonepoko Elementary students and staff have since returned to their original location.
HIDOE's Facilities Development branch negotiated to purchase the 10 structures for $1.6 million and moving them to Kealakehe High and James Campbell High. Two of the larger structures will go to Kealakehe to provide four ‘swing space’ classrooms for use during a science building renovation project. Eight portables will go to Campbell High to provide 15 classrooms. These portable structures have built-in air-conditioning units.
“We are constantly looking for possible solutions to address the heat and capacity issues at our schools,” said Office of School Facilities and Support Services Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson. “The purchase and moves of these portables fits within our budget and addresses immediate concerns at these schools.”
“We’ve been working with the facilities team to find a way to help our students at Campbell,” said Campbell-Kapolei Complex Area Superintendent Heidi Armstrong. “This is a great solution for us as we continue to discuss solutions for our long-term needs in this ever-growing community.”
Next steps include preparing the campuses for the arrival of the portables and installing electrical requirements. Project completion for Kealakehe High and Campbell High is January 2016. HIDOE's Facilities Development Branch, which negotiated the deal, is project manager on the installation of the portables.