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Ground Broken Today for Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter

An estimated 150 people (including a few dozen Ka‘ū High students) participated in the ground blessing for the Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter this morning on the school campus.

The 43,000 square foot gymnasium and multi-purpose facility will be situated upon approximately five acres of the Ka‘ū High and Pāhala Elementary School campus. It is a State of Hawai‘i and County of Hawai‘i joint-funded effort managed by the County of Hawai‘i and is the result of collaborative planning design effort among the community, the Department of Education, Ka‘ū High and Pāhala Elementary Administration and staff, Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Department of Public Works.

 

Artists rendition

Representative Herkes remarked, the seven-year effort was made possible due to Mayor Billy Kenoi’s willingness for County of Hawai‘i to take over the project.

“This project is a result of a community coming together and encouraging the government to make it happen,” commented Mayor Kenoi.  He added, “There is no higher priority than creating a pu‘uhonua, a safe haven for our children. Congratulations to this beautiful community.”

We had a beautiful groundbreaking this morning for the Kaʻū District Gym and Shelter with Governor Neil Abercrombie, members of our Legislature, and the Department of Education, as well as the County Council and the Departments of Public Works and Parks & Recreation. They all came together to bring this project closer to reality for the people of Kaʻū. I look forward to the blessing and opening about a year and a half from now! Mahalo for everyone’s hard work! (via Mayor Kenoi’s Facebook page)

The gymnasium provides for three NCAA regulation basketball courts (or, NCAA regulation volleyball courts) with retractable athletic curtains between each court to allow for simultaneous multisport use with minimal disruptions.

Accessory spaces include a certified kitchen with concession counters; ticket windows; meeting room; a community recreation room; interior and exterior public restrooms; two sets of locker/shower rooms; DOE Athletic Trainer’s office, conference room and training room; Parks and Recreation staff office; an American Red Cross emergency supplies room; and miscellaneous storage and support rooms.

Governor Abercrombie said to the audience, “This is going to be the symbol of the new Ka‘ū.”

Construction for the $17 million Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter is scheduled to begin in 30 days.

The gymnasium and multipurpose facility are both designed to meet the Enhanced Hurricane Protection Area classification for hurricane shelters; its performance objective is to remain operational during and after a 500 to 100-year hurricane event, or a Category 3 Hurricane with 155 mph peak gusts.  The two structures will be capable of serving 1,928 individuals as a shelter though it is anticipated that more could be accommodated when necessary.

When the vog condition in the area reaches a level of concern, the facilities will serve as a designated vog shelter featuring a specialized air filtration system that can accommodate 325 persons for extended periods.  More people may be accommodated if necessary for shorter duration stays.

Uncle Bobby Gomes, a well-respected member of the community was called upon by Sharon Beck, Ka‘ū High and Pāhala Elementary School principal to bless the area.  With tears in his eyes, he said, “For the people of this community, we can be proud of ourselves because when we unite… look at what we accomplish.”

 

Public Invited to Groundbreaking of New Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter

The public is invited to a groundbreaking for the new Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter to be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, October 3, at the Ka‘ū High and Pāhala Elementary school campus.
Governor Neil Abercrombie will be joined by Mayor Billy Kenoi, Department of Education officials, and Ka‘ū High Principal Sharon Beck.
The $17 million Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter is a State-County partnership in which the State is financing design and construction and providing the site for the facility. The County is responsible for design and construction of the facility through the good work of the Departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation. The facility will be used jointly by the school and the community.
The 43,300-square-foot Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter will expand athletic and recreational opportunities in the Ka‘ū district.  It will also serve as a destination for community events and as an emergency shelter during natural disasters.
The new Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter will offer residents a gym that will accommodate three regulation Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association basketball or volleyball courts. Accessory rooms will include; locker and training rooms, and restrooms; a lobby, courtyard, kitchen, ticket booths; and office space, and storage areas for the State Department of Education, County Parks & Recreation, and the American Red Cross.
The plans, design, and construction will strive to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines put forth by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
For a building to achieve LEED certification, its construction must meet criteria in six performance standards: a sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design.
Construction is scheduled to begin the week of October 11 and will take 18 months to complete.

New Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter to Break Ground This Fall

Ka‘ū District residents will see their ideas and dreams for a community gym and emergency center begin to take shape this fall with the start of construction on the new Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter.

The County of Hawai‘i recently awarded the $17 million construction contract to Summit Construction; construction is expected to begin this September and last approximately 18 months to complete.

The new Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter will be located on the Ka‘ū High and Pāhala Elementary school campus.  It will be operated and maintained by the County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation.

The 43,300- square-foot facility will be built to Enhanced Hurricane criteria.

In acknowledgment of Ka‘ū’s proximity to vog emissions, the multi-purpose room and recreational room are provided with filtration systems and can serve as a shelter when there is an increased level of volcanic discharge in the area’s atmosphere.

The size and diversity of the facility is in direct response to comments gathered in November and December from the community, said Mayor Billy Kenoi.  “The Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter has been designed to expand athletic and recreational opportunities, serve as a destination for community events and emergency shelter during natural disasters.”

The gym will also accommodate three regulation HHSAA basketball or volleyball courts, and could host the Big Island Interscholastic (BIIF) basketball or volleyball games.  Accessory rooms will include; locker and training rooms, and restrooms; a lobby, courtyard, certified kitchen, ticket booths; and office space, and storage areas for the State Department of Education, County Parks & Recreation, and the American Red Cross.

Mary Correa, Complex Area Superintendent for Ka‘ū – Kea‘au, Pāhoa Complex Area (KKPCA) said, “We are appreciative of the partnership between the County of Hawai‘i, the Department of Education Facilities Section Duane Kashiwai, Nick Nichols, Tracy Okumura, Ka‘ū High Principal Sharon Beck and Athletic Director Kalei Namohala.  They worked diligently and quickly to figure out what was needed to award a construction contract before the fiscal year ended in June.  We are also grateful to Senator Gil Kahele and Representative Bob Herkes for securing funding for a new Gym and Shelter in Ka‘ū District.  Our students and the community are excited to have a new gym in their midst and continue to dream of possibilities once it is completed.”

A groundbreaking will be held prior to the start of construction.