Farrington getting an extreme makeover

By Cam Tran
Published On: Aug 05 2013 02:26:00 PM HST

Farrington High School to improve structures, including the auditorium roof which collapsed last year and a classroom overhaul.

HONOLULU -

Farrington High School, one of the oldest high schools on Oahu, will undergo some major upgrades.  The upgrades include rebuilding the auditorium roof, which collapsed last year, and a classroom overhaul.

Some of the renovations were able to make it in time for the start of school Monday.

Farrington Principal Al Carganilla knows first-hand the wear and tear at the school.

"Being alumni and coming here, I know.  Being 76 years old -- the facilities, the classrooms are just run down," said Carganilla.

It's run down, especially when you compare this old classroom to a newly-renovated one.

With the help of state funds, crews just rebuilt 10 new classrooms at Farrington.  The classrooms will house the Law and Justice, Sports and Business Academies.  These academies gear 11th and 12th graders for college.

"We have single classrooms, but it's now conducive to having bigger types of presentations and type of things where they can work altogether," said Carganilla.

That includes working together on a murder crime mystery in a brand new forensics lab.

"We can extra DNA under electrophoresis," said forensics science teacher Lisa Ponce.  "They go through all the experiments, like collecting evidence and looking at different scenarios and different suspects and so they go through a mock murder scene."

When you walk into one of the new classrooms, you'll notice immediately brand new tables and chairs, a fresh coat of paint and new dry erase boards.  The principal says these changes can greatly improve a student's learning environment.

"When these kids come to school and, really, for a lot of them, this is their home," said Carganilla.  "Our buildings are wireless so we do have the capabilities of using computers with our computer labs.  We did purchase over 150 computers here to be ready for end of course exams."

These new classrooms mark just the first phase of a 10-year plan to renovate the entire school.

Plans also now include the auditorium that suffered a roof collapse last November.  The principal says the school is working on designs for a new auditorium.  The project will go out to bid in December.

Carganilla says the school will also build a football field and a track soon.  Renovating Farrington will cost $15 million .  Repair and upgrades to the auditorium will cost another $10 million, which is partly covered by insurance and by CIP funds, according to state officials.

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