Kahalu’u Educational Complex Community Meetings to be Hosted by Kamehameha Schools

Kamehameha Schools has scheduled two public meetings for community members to discuss plans for the development of the Kahalu’u Educational Complex on lands of former hotel sites in Kahalu’u.
The former Keauhou Beach Resort
The community meetings are scheduled for Thursday evening, October 17 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm, and Friday morning, October 18 from 8:30 to 9:30 am at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa Convention Center Keauhou Ballroom 1.

Community participants will receive an update on the Kahalu’u ma kai project, review project timelines, learn more about the vision for the educational project and share mana’o (feedback).

“We encourage everyone who is interested to attend and learn more about our vision for Kahaluu ma kai, and especially our evolving Kahalu’u Manowai education plans.  Come talk-story with our team about how we are protecting the cultural, historical and environmental assets during demolition,” stated Kamehameha Schools Director of Strategic Initiatives for West Hawai’i Ka’eo
Duarte. “We’re looking forward to advancing the educational legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop in West Hawai’i by restoring and re-energizing this very special place.”

As stated by Kamehameha Schools, the vision for the Kahalu’u educational complex is to restore the cultural landscape of Kahalu’u ma kai to an intrinsically Hawaiian place in which opportunities for applied learning, teaching, and knowledge creation are rooted in tradition while advancing learners and lahui (assemble) toward innovation, leadership and a sustainable future.

Those wishing to attend are encouraged to RSVP by emailing Denise Kauhi at dekauhi@ksbe.edu or calling 808-322-5301.


2013 KSBE Ho’olaule’a is Tomorrow – Preserve Your Family’s Story

Are you going to the Kamehameha Schools (Kea‘au) Ho‘olaule‘a tomorrow?

KSBE 2013

Here’s your chance to win an oral history session (tell your family’s or an ancestor’s story!) at the silent auction.

Bid on a Talk Story Press Oral History session at the Kamehameha School (Kea‘au) Ho‘olaule‘a. It’s this Saturday, February 16, 2013 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; free admittance).

It’s a silent auction, where you bid on paper. The highest bidder wins a guided, one-hour oral history interview, which will be recorded and delivered to them on CD and in transcripts.

Leslie Lang
Hot Tip: When I offered this same one-hour “oral history to CD” project last year, at the same silent auction, people didn’t seem to know quite what to make of it. There were only two bids, and the Oral History CD went for quite cheap! So if you’re interested, you might consider swooping by that day. Let me know if you have any questions.

Auction proceeds support the Kamehameha Schools PTO, which is such a good cause. Your bid supports scholarships, sending classes to special events, authors’ visits, athletes traveling to games and more.


National Bone Marrow Registry – Big Island Resident Needs Bone Marrow Transplant


Due to overwhelming response, the Bone Marrow Registry drive will continue tomorrow, Labor Day, 10am till 2pm KTA Puainako. If you didn’t make it down today, please come tomorrow. All ethnicities, ages 18-60, healthy people. Only need to fill out a questionnaire and swab your cheeks to register. Please come!!

Native Hawaiian patients have a special need

Ke‘ala (Pauline Kealoha) Lee Loy

Employed at Kamehameha Schools and a former teacher with the DOE, Ke‘ala was recently diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant.

Of the 9 million potential donors registered in the National Marrow Donor Registry, only 0.1%, or 1/10 of one percent, of the donors are Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders. This means that the probability of a Native Hawaiian finding a donor match is less than 3% (data as of March 2011). Caucasians have an 80% chance of finding a donor match, and Asians, Hispanics and Afro-Americans have a 15% chance.

You can help! First, spread the word and encourage Hawaiians and other under-represented minorities to register as a donor. Second, register yourself — all it takes is a cheek swab and a bit of paperwork.

Join the Marrow Registry

All you need is to:

1. Be between the ages of 18 and 60

2. Be willing to donate to any patient in need

3. Meet the health guidelines

Three opportunities to register in September 2012

Hawai‘i Island
September 2
KTA Center
50 East Puainako St.
Hilo, HI 96720
September 7-9
Hawai‘i Woman Expo 2012
Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall
777 Ward Avenue
Honolulu, HI  96814
September 27-30
Maui Fair 2012
211 Kanaloa Avenue
Wailuku, HI  96793

Keauhou Beach Hotel to Close – Workers to be Laid Off

Kamehameha Schools (KS) announced today that it has directed its for-profit subsidiary, KBH, Inc., to give Outrigger Hotels’ management formal notice that it will close the Keauhou Beach Hotel at the end of October.

“This hotel has been a place of rest and play for so many people in its past 40 years — myself included,” said Kamehameha Schools CEO Dee Jay Mailer. “It has employed wonderful people who have served its customers and this community well; however, times have changed. Despite the good work of many committed and talented people, financial losses at the hotel over the last six years have been substantial. To return the Keauhou Beach to possibly compete in the Kailua-Kona hotel market would take tens of millions in further investment that would be very difficult to recover.”

Mailer noted that KBH, KS and various independent consultants had, over the last 18 months, studied a number of options as alternatives to closing the hotel, but the analyses came to the same conclusion: selling, renovating or re-purposing the hotel would create an unacceptable financial risk for Kamehameha Schools and its educational mission. In addition, none of the alternatives could be justified within KS’ emerging vision of Kahalu‘u ma kai as a center for culture and place-based learning.

“Kamehameha Schools’ intention has, for many years, been to re-establish Hawaiian culture and learning as the major attributes of our lands at Kahalu‘u and Keauhou ma kai,” Mailer said. “We have been working closely with Outrigger’s management team to integrate the Keauhou Beach Hotel’s activities with our cultural vision while attempting to bring the hotel back to profitability. Unfortunately, profitability has not been easy.”

Outrigger Hotel management and ILWU leaders have been informed of this decision, and earlier today CEO Mailer and KBH President and CEO Kyle Chock, along with Outrigger management representatives, met with the majority of the hotel employees to let them know of this difficult decision in person.

Transition Plans for People and Property

The operations of the Keauhou Beach Hotel will be wound down in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. The hotel will honor all reservations currently booked up to October 31, 2012. For bookings already in place for beyond that date, the hotel will be in contact with those groups and individuals to assist them in finding other accommodations and function space.

“This decision has been very difficult because of its impact on the people here,” said KBH’s Kyle Chock. “Many of these employees have given years of dedicated service to the Keauhou Beach Hotel, and we owe them our sincerest thanks and appreciation. We, along with Outrigger management and the ILWU, will do all we can to assist those affected by the closure.”

Representatives from Kamehameha Schools, Outrigger and the ILWU are scheduling meetings to discuss ways to help ease the transition for hotel employees. Details will be shared with hotel employees through Outrigger management and ILWU representatives in the coming days.

Once the hotel closes, the property will be turned over to Kamehameha Schools for ultimate disposition. Planning is underway to demolish the hotel structure itself in order to create the opportunity for Kamehameha Schools to re-claim and restore a portion of the cultural landscape in Kahalu’u ma kai that has been covered or impacted by the hotel and its surrounding structures for decades. Examples of such restoration work are already visible at Hapaiali‘i, Ke’eku and Mākole’a heiau, and when the hotel structures are removed, additional cultural restoration can begin.

Future Uses

The decision to close and demolish the hotel marks a pivotal point in Kamehameha Schools’ stewardship of these lands that were planned and developed for resort uses in the 1960s.

“Over the past 10 years, Kamehameha Schools’ connection to and recognition of the deep cultural and historical significance of its lands at Kahalu‘u ma kai has grown stronger,” said Greg Chun, Ph.D., Vice President of KS’ Keauhou-Kahalu‘u Education Group. “This complex was a leadership, intellectual and spiritual center for the region and, ultimately, the pae ‘aina, so the first phase of bringing new uses to the hotel site includes re-establishing the cultural footprint of the complex with the extension and completion of our restoration projects including Ke‘eku heiau, Kapuanoni heiau and Po‘o Hawai‘i.”

Chun also said modest facilities will be needed within the complex to support outdoor learning programs, including traditional ceremonial and teaching hālau, interpretive paths and observation areas, and a multi-purpose facility to accommodate group functions and overnight camping for learners participating in programs offered there. The architectural theme will be traditional with building methods consistent with the nature of the complex (e.g., Uhau Humu Pohaku or dry stack masonry). Improvements to the open space areas will be made that can support cultural and community functions and uses, including out-plantings of native landscaping that would be typical of such a complex and that functionally support the cultural practices that would have been occurring there.

“Our plans are still conceptual, though the vision emerging for this area has roots in the history and mo‘olelo of this place and its people, which has been passed on to us through years of work and conversation with many in this community,” Chun said. “We will be continuing that conversation with our community and educational partners in the next six months to discuss our plans and refine our vision for the future of this property.”

“We envision creating a place for teaching and learning of applied Hawaiian knowledge,” CEO Mailer adds. “A place where a broad range of culture and ‘āina-based learning experiences that recognize and respect the legacy of this place and our kupuna, integrates contemporary knowledge and technologies, and that align with Kamehameha Schools’ mission and values will be developed, practiced and refined. This requires us to rely heavily on the ‘ike and mana‘o of our community here on Moku o Keawe. These are the early stages of planning for what will take shape on our property at Kahalu‘u ma kai and that will, ultimately, benefit learners across the island, our state and beyond.”

Q & A:

  1. What happened? Why are you closing the hotel?
    Keauhou Beach Hotel is being closed as a result of several factors:

    1. Financial losses have been significant over the past six years;
    2. The cost of renovating or re-purposing the hotel would be prohibitive — tens of millions of dollars would be required and there would be a very low probability of recovering that investment, and
    3. Kamehameha Schools’ overall vision for these properties has shifted away from resort operations and toward a culture and ‘āina based-learning center that will connect to the rich culture and history of our people and the land, not just for visitors from other places, but also for learners of all ages who live in Hawai’i.
  2. What is your timeframe for closing the hotel?
    KBH, Inc. expects to close the hotel on October 31, 2012. At which point the property will be turned over to Kamehameha Schools for future cultural and educational programming at the site.
  3. Was consideration given to selling the hotel versus closing it?
    Yes, we considered several options, including selling the hotel or even turning the property into a time-share operation. Our analysis and that of independent consultants came to the same conclusion: continued operation of the hotel was not economically feasible. And since the thinking at Kamehameha Schools was already evolving toward creating a center for Hawaiian cultural learning in this place, it made good sense to shift entirely in the direction of restoring the cultural footprint at this site for future educational programming.
  4. What will happen to the people working there?
    Representatives from Kamehameha Schools will be meeting with Outrigger and ILWU representatives to discuss possible ways to help ease the transition for Keauhou Beach Hotel employees. Hotel employees will be able to get more details and updates from their Outrigger Human Resources associates and ILWU representatives in the coming days.
  5. How many people will lose their jobs when the hotel is shut?
    The Keauhou Beach Hotel currently employs 112 full- and part-time workers.
  6. The Keauhou Beach Hotel was known for its support of many community events every year, like the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Ironman Triathlon World Championship, Kamehameha III’s Birthday Celebration, Slack Key Festival, several hula demonstrations, Earth Day and others. What kind of support will Kamehameha Schools give to these kinds of events in the future?
    We recognize the important support this hotel and its staff contributed to community events in the past. We will look to support and promote community activities that respect the legacy of our kupuna in this place and have strong alignment with the values and mission of our school.
  7. What will happen to the tennis courts?
    Too soon to say for sure, but if we can work through the security and access issues, we may be able to keep the tennis courts open on a month-to-month basis while we go through the permit process to demolish the hotel.
  8. What will happen to Kalani Kai Bar?
    Security and access issues will necessitate closing the Kalani Kai Bar at the end of October. Hotel staff will work to move those groups utilizing Kalani Kai to other locations.
  9. Will the educational/cultural programs at this site be for Hawaiians only?
    No. While there may be a few exceptions, the types of learning experiences that are being considered for this site would be open for participation by the entire community.
  10. What are you doing to relocate the various groups and events that have booked into the Keauhou Beach Hotel?
    Hotel staff will be working with all groups and events that are currently booked into the hotel after October 31, 2012 to help them relocate to other Kona hotels and function areas.
  11. What will happen to the weekly Farmer’s Market?
    If we can work through the various security and access issues we may be able to keep the Farmers Market open on a month-to-month basis while we go through the permit process to demolish the hotel.
  12. What will happen to the shops and tenants at the hotel?
    We will be working with the three business tenants currently at the hotel to see how we might assist them in relocating their businesses. We haven’t had any formal conversations with them yet, so we look forward to meeting with them soon.
  13. Will there be access through the property for those wanting to utilize the shoreline?
    We are exploring options on how to accommodate those wishing to practice traditional and customary gathering rights during this transition.

Kamehameha Schools 125 Years – On Oceanic Cable, The Web and Instagram

Kamehameha Schools is 125 years old, and for the past few months, we’ve been sharing stories about KS people, programs, services, collaborators, and stewardship of the lands of our founder, Bernice Pauahi Bishop.

We’d love to have you join in the celebration by literally putting yourself in the picture … via your photos! Using the smartphone app Instagram, snap and upload a picture that you feel captures Kamehameha’s mission in action or depicts events taking place during the anniversary.

And be sure to include the #ks125 hashtag in your caption so your photo will be added to the 125th anniversary collection. And go to www.facebook.com/KamehamehaSchools for a link to the #ks125 Instagram photo gallery.

For example, you could include photos of you and your friends participating in King Kamehameha Day festivities, Alumni Week, or any of the various and many wonderful Kamehameha Schools activities happening now and through Founder’s Day, December 19. Happy photo sharing!

Be sure to check out our 125th anniversary story, told through television and radio commercials, print ads and videos! It’s all posted on Oceanic Time Warner Cable digital channel 918 and at www.ksbe.edu/125, a special-edition anniversary website.

Me ka mahalo nui, and enjoy the celebration!