KĪHEI - With the support of Governor Josh Green and Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen and their respective administrations, the Department of Education is working diligently to be able to physically open the new Kūlanihāko‘i High School campus to South Maui students in August 2023 for the upcoming School Year 2023-24.
The Department remains fully committed to ensuring student safety, including any requirements imposed by the state Land Use Commission. Honolulu-based firm G70, has been contracted to design the pedestrian overpass and anticipates completing a design in late summer. The overpass is expected to take at least three years to complete.
Gov. Green agreed with Mayor Bissen that the state will assume liability for the new campus in the meantime. A formal agreement indemnifies the county from “liabilities that may arise from any items that are not in compliance with the [Land Use Commission's] requirements.”
The Department will work with the county, Gov. Green, the Department of Transportation and the LUC on next steps and is hopeful the school can open for students in the fall.
Kūlanihāko‘i High opened to its first ninth-graders in August 2022 at a temporary site on nearby Lokelani Intermediate School’s campus while this phase of construction (Phase II) was completed. Phase II includes the upper campus, with administration, classroom, library and cafeteria buildings, along with physical education locker rooms, a playcourt, temporary playfield and open spaces. The campus includes sustainability design features to maximize natural lighting and reduce energy consumption, such as large window walls, high curved ceilings and rooftop airfoils that will help to direct winds through classroom buildings to provide natural ventilation and reduce heat buildup.
The school plans to add an additional freshman class annually until grades 9 through 12 are fully implemented in the 2025-26 school year, allowing the school to gradually hire staff to accommodate all grade levels. At full capacity, the campus is designed for an enrollment of 1,650 students.
Kūlanihāko‘i High will continue to operate at its temporary location at Lokelani Intermediate School until further notice.
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