Moanalua High School celebrated on March 12 the grand opening of its new Performing Arts Center. Students and staff welcomed Gov. David Ige, lawmakers and community members with tours of the facilities and student performances.
“For over 20 years, the Performing Arts Center has been a part of our school’s vision. It’s very gratifying to see the vision become a reality,” Moanalua High School Principal Robin Martin said. “This center will serve to enrich the cultural lives of not only our students, but many other students and members of the Moanalua community.”
The Performing Arts Center features a 700-seat auditorium that is equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual systems and LED lighting. The facility also includes rehearsal and instructional spaces, a dance and choral room, storage rooms, a music library and other supporting facilities for the school’s award-winning music programs and expanding performing arts programs.
Moanalua High School’s music program attracts 600 to 700 students each year and has a growing number of students participating in its dance and drama classes.
First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, a former vice principal at Moanalua High School, recalled a time when, due to the school’s limited capacity, parents were unable to get seats to sold-out music program concerts. She said the school envisioned a Performing Arts Center to help remedy the issue.
“All the community leaders, legislators, teachers, music boosters and parents never gave up before then, during that time. And now we’re here today,” Amano-Ige said. “I saw strength, dedication and commitment to a world-class music program.”
Drawings of the building were first rendered back in 1999. Construction on the $32 million project began in April 2019.
“When I was a student, this facility was just a drawing and a dream of the future,” said Jensen Ball, a Moanalua High School alumnus who will be serving as the center’s new manager. “I’m ecstatic that our students and community now have the opportunity to use this wonderful facility for many years to come.”
In addition to serving Moanalua High School’s students and programs, the Performing Arts Center will also be available and accessible to the broader community.
“The community and administrators focused on setting the stage for the most illustrious music program in Hawaii,” Sen. Glenn Wakai said. “This venue will be a dazzling gathering place for magnificent events.”
Sen. Donna Mercado Kim added, “Not always do we as legislators get to see our dreams and plans come to fruition. This new performing arts facility will enhance our students' experience. Thank you to all who have worked tirelessly to make this happen.”
Also in attendance and credited for their support of the project were several legislators including retired Sen. Norm Sakamoto, Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson and Rep. Linda Ichiyama.