The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) broke ground on Oct. 10 for the first phase of Niu Valley Middle School’s (NVMS) World Language Center. The groundbreaking ceremony was held with students, staff and parents from the school’s past, present and future as well as community members and government partners. The World Language Center will include four classrooms to be used specifically for world language and English-learning curriculum, and is designed to support 21st century modes of education critical to effectively support learning.
“The ability to communicate in more than one language is essential for our global society and for the success of our students,” said First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige. “The students who learn in this new language center will go on to work collaboratively with their peers on a global level.”
NVMS, along with Kaiser High School and Hahaione Elementary, offers the complex area an International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools program. NVMS offers the Middle Years Programme component of the IB program, requiring the school to include World Languages in its curriculum. Japanese and Mandarin classes will be held in the new building. The World Language Center will help support the progression of enrollment to the program with additional classroom facilities.
“This new World Language Center is a perfect complement to our International Baccalaureate program’s focus on giving our students a world-class education,” said NVMS Principal Laura Ahn. “We are excited to see our students thrive in new 21st century learning environments.”
The first phase of construction will consist of laying the foundation for the entire structure and construction of one classroom, the technology server room and restrooms. There will also be a Learning Lanai – a large exterior covered space which expands the classrooms’ instructional space outdoors under cool shade with a ventilated roof that collects rainwater while enabling passive cooling for the classrooms under it.
The second phase of construction will include the remaining three classrooms and restrooms. The estimated completion for the entire project is fall 2021. Updates can be tracked on the NVMS website.