MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAIʻI (MCBH) – Mokapu Elementary launched a major renovation project to construct new administration, library and classroom buildings, a new cafeteria, learning courtyard and parking areas that will transform the existing campus and provide modern facilities designed to serve nearly 1,000 students.
"The Hawaiʻi Department of Education is very excited for this major improvement project at Mokapu Elementary that will provide state-of-the-art facilities for our students at Marine Corps Base Hawaiʻi," says Superintendent Keith Hayashi. "The Department of Defense is a tremendous partner in modernizing our public schools located on military bases and we appreciate their support."
The project received grants from the Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation covering $116.5 million or 80 percent of the total $146 million project cost, with state funds to cover the remaining $29 million or 20 percent. Construction is anticipated to take four years to complete.
“As one of the senior members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, we authorized the Public Schools Military Installations program to send federal money to support the schools for the children of our military families,” says Senator Mazie Hirono “What could be more important than supporting our military service members as supporting their families and their students.”
The project will construct a two-story Administration/Library building; a two and three story Classroom Building with 55 classrooms and support spaces; a Cafetorium; and Covered Playcourt buildings, all surrounding a secure Learning Courtyard. The new facilities will be constructed on an open section of the 14.2 acre campus which currently contains open playfields, a running track and playcourts. During construction, existing facilities will remain open for use. When construction is complete, classroom operations will move into the new buildings and work will then shift to demolish old buildings and create new play courts and fields on their former footprint.
"Marine Corps Base Hawaiʻi is extremely grateful for the support from the Congressional Delegation, the Hawaiʻi Department of Education, as well as the funding from The Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, which allows us to build a modern, renovated Mokapu Elementary," says Col. Speros Koumparakis, MCBH Commanding Officer. "Providing a quality education to our school-age dependents remains a top priority, and the new facility will match the high quality of our administration and faculty who care for our military impacted students aboard the base."
Originally opened in 1960, Mokapu Elementary is the only public elementary school located on MCBH, a US Navy installation, and serves mainly military-dependent students from families with members serving in Marine units. In School Year 2022-23, it currently serves 883 students from pre-kindergarten through grade six.