The Hawai‘i State Department of Education broke ground March 1 on a new gymnasium for Kaua‘i High School. Built in 1939, Kaua‘i High’s gymnasium is the oldest high school gym on the island. Kapa‘a and Waimea High Schools’ gymnasiums were built a decade later.
The groundbreaking ceremony began with Kaua‘i officials including Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi, state Rep. James Tokioka and Mayor Derek Kawakami sharing remarks about the new facility and the staff’s efforts.
“We have had a long-standing need in our community to provide students with improved high school sports facilities,” Senate President Kouchi said. “The new Kaua‘i High School gym will not only provide students the opportunity to play in a newly constructed facility, but will also allow Kauaʻi to host tournaments and broader events for all of Kauaʻi to enjoy.”
The $21 million project began its initial conception in 2011, with the help of John Hara Associates, Inc., and is estimated to be completed by April 1, 2023. The new gymnasium will seat 1,600 spectators, approximately double the number of seats it currently holds. It will also feature a dedicated wrestling and cheerleading room, four team locker rooms, two locker rooms for officials, three meeting rooms, an athletic training room with treatment areas, ticket booth, kitchen and a food court.
“I’m a fond believer that the best life lessons are found not in a classroom or a book, but when you are out living life. For our keiki, that often happens through school athletics and extra-curricular programs,” Mayor Kawakami said. "Providing a safe and welcoming space for our students to develop their skills, experience the meaning of hard work and dedication, and most importantly – a place to just have fun, is something that every school should have and that every keiki deserves. Mahalo to Kaua‘i Complex Area Superintendent Paul Zina and the Department of Education, Senate President Ron Kouchi and Rep. James Tokioka for ensuring that the students and faculty of Kaua‘i High School will benefit from this much-needed project for years to come.”
Kaua‘i Complex Area Superintendent Paul Zina noted the new gymnasium will open the doors to many resources and learning experiences for students and families at Kaua‘i High School and the surrounding community. “This new gymnasium has worked to connect the high school and its local community in a beautiful way,” he said.
Students and community members will be invited to participate in the naming efforts of the new gymnasium as the construction progresses.
“This project is a long-awaited facility for Kaua‘i High School. It’ll be a catalyst for many positive changes in our athletic department and school academies,” Principal Marlene Leary said. “The collaborative work of so many has finally led us to this moment. We are honored and grateful and look forward to utilizing the gym to share our school pride, talents of our athletic department and our progressing academy school design.”
The gymnasium will also feature a dedicated wrestling and cheerleading room, four team locker rooms, two locker rooms for officials, three meeting rooms, an athletic training room with treatment areas, ticket booth, kitchen and a food court.