Written by: Kila Brown, Waipahu High School, Grade 10
Photos by: Leimarie Gacho, Waipahu High School, Grade 12
The Hawaii State Department of Education broke ground on Waipahu High School’s new Integrated Academy Facility on Jan. 14. Waipahu High School holds the highest level of national recognition for its five career academies, meaning the school is a wall-to-wall national model academy high school.
The groundbreaking ceremony began with Gov. David Ige, Sen. Michelle Kidani, and Reverend Kenneth Makuakane sharing remarks about the new building and the faculty and staff’s efforts.
“The teachers here inspire students to reach goals and challenges they never thought possible,” Gov. Ige said. “Our schools are the key to making our island and planet a better place by nurturing our students to be leaders, innovators and problem solvers of tomorrow.”
The new building is estimated to take 18 months to build. It will have three stories, with each floor integrating the different career academies at Waipahu High School. The first floor will be dedicated to the Academy of Natural Resources, where students will be able to experiment with agricultural tools incorporating artificial intelligence.
The second floor will have biotechnology, chemistry, and computer labs as well as design-thinking areas for academy students to utilize.
Half of the third floor will allow the Marauder Cafe and culinary program to prepare and serve different cuisines from around the world. The other half of the third floor will allow hospitality students to organize and cater events.
Waipahu High Principal Keith Hayashi says through the school’s career academy design, he hopes to leverage the most current technologies to provide authentic learning experiences and opportunities for students that connect to high-wage, high-skill, in-demand, and future-focused jobs.
“In designing a facility to integrate the academies together, the beauty was that we had our industry partners coming together, and our community coming together to provide support,” Principal Hayashi said.
Facility renderings by WRNS Studio.
The new facility will support the school's career academies, featuring innovative learning spaces for agriculture, biotechnology, chemistry, culinary and hospitality programs.