Playground upgrades

The Department is refurbishing our school playgrounds with green materials that produce cost savings, allowing us to escalate fixes while keeping the safety of our keiki at the fore.​

​The approach

The Department has initiated a program to reduce, reuse and recycle playground equipment, when and where possible.

A playground qualifies for a refurbishment if it has a solid structure and better value than a new playground. Worn-out rubber surfacing can either be “topped over” with another layer of rubber or “turfed over” with artificial turf. Cost savings from these simple refurbishments save money over wholesale replacements; those savings are applied to increasing the number and rate at which our playgrounds are upgraded. Best of all, we are contributing to making our planet just a little more greener, one playground at time.

Artificial turf

You will now see artificial turf beneath many of our playgrounds that look similar to the turf at Aloha Stadium. Why? Playground safety surfacing is a required standard for all Department playgrounds to protect our children from serious head injury in the case of a fall. While rubber surfacing can also be used, artificial turf is less expensive and offers the same protection for our children, allowing us to use the cost savings to design and construct playgrounds with larger capacity.

Engaging design

Playground manufacturers constantly invent new products to keep children excited about using playground equipment. A playground should be inviting and offer enough challenge and fun so that children will remain engaged in playground activities. Simplified or watered-down designs become “boring” once the novelty wears off, and oftentimes children create challenges placing them at risk for injury to themselves or others. The Department is dedicated to providing the newest and most exciting playground designs that our children will enjoy — it fosters happy, healthy and ready-to-learn children in our classrooms.

New & refurbished playgrounds

Updated February 2015:

Refurbished playgrounds

  • Aliiolani Elementary
  • Ewa Elementary
  • Holomua Elementary (pictured, above)
  • Iroquois Point Elementary
  • Kaneohe Elementary
  • Kanoelani Elementary
  • Kahaluu Elementary
  • Keoneula Elementary
  • Lunalilo Elementary
  • Mokapu Elementary
  • Nanakuli Elementary
  • Pohakea Elementary
  • Waimanalo Elementary
  • Wilcox Elementary
  • Wilson Elementary

Refurbished playgrounds (in progress)

  • Ala Wai Elementary
  • Hale Kula Elementary
  • Maili Elementary
  • Manoa Elementary (fitness)
  • Mililani Ike Elementary
  • Waialae Elementary

New playgrounds

  • Hahaione Elementary
  • Koko Head Elementary
  • Manoa Elementary
  • Waiahole Elementary
  • Waiakeawaena Elementary
    (Hawaii Island, DOE/County partnership)
  • Waikele Elementary
  • Waikiki Elementary

New playgrounds (in progress)

  • Kaleiopuu Elementary
  • Mililani Uka Elementary
  • Naalehu Elementary (Hawaii Island)
  • Pahala Elementary (Hawaii Island)
  • Pearl City Highlands Elementary

​​​The serious work behind playtime​Checking in with the newly refurbished playground at Aina Haina Elementary.

Contact Information

Monica Kaui Baron

Phone: 808-586-3452


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