Design unveiled for Hawai'i's first vertical school at 690 Pohukaina Street


HIDOE and Alaka‘i Development today unveiled the design for the state’s first vertical school at 690 Pohukaina Street. The elementary school will be part of a mixed-income, mixed-use development that also features rental residences and retail.

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and Alaka'i Development today unveiled the design for the state's first vertical school, which will be located in Kaka'ako.

"We've discussed the possibilities of how to best serve the future educational needs of this growing area and are excited to reveal the design for this 21st century public elementary school," said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "The school will have a number of sustainable features, which will provide an innovative and healthy learning atmosphere for the K-6 students in this area."

The site at 690 Pohukaina Street will face Mother Waldron Park and is being designed by WRNS Studio in collaboration with Ben Woo Architects.  Construction is expected to begin in 2019 with the school and one of two residential towers being built in the first phase. When complete, the school is expected to serve up to 750 elementary students.

"Just imagine a family living in the Kaka'ako area, and particularly in our future rental community, who will be able to drop their kids off at school and walk or bike to work in the nearby urban core," said Jon Wallenstrom, principal, Alaka'i Development. "It will provide the people of Honolulu with a marvelous lifestyle and will help address public school expansion needs in an area undergoing change. We are honored and excited to help solve two of urban Honolulu most pressing needs: educational innovation and affordable housing."

The school will be incorporated into the mixed-income, mixed-use development that also features rental residences and retail. The estimated cost of the school is $40 million. The Legislature appropriated $16 million for planning, design work and initial construction costs.

In July 2015, HIDOE opened its 256th school in Kapolei – Ho'okele Elementary.  That school was HIDOE's first design-build construction project.

High-resolution renderings are available for the overall design and the courtyard design of the vertical school shown above.

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