Hale Kula renovations begin with Hawaiian blessing

By Cam Tran
Published On: Jul 01 2013 03:52:30 PM HST
Updated On: Jul 01 2013 07:50:11 PM HST

By the time the renovations are complete, Hale Kula Elementary in Wahiawa will look and feel like a brand new school.

WAHIAWA, Hawaii -

A Hawaiian blessing celebrates a major overhaul for Hale Kula Elementary School.

"It warms my heart as a soldier and a parent to see this substantial investment at Hale Kula," said Brig. Gen. Pete Johnson.

The 50-year-old school at Schofield Barracks is showing signs of its age.  But, thanks to a $33 million federal and state grant, crews officials started renovations on Monday.

"There's asbestos under the tiles they are going to remove," said Hale Kula Principal Jan Iwase.  "They are going to paint the school over and do some ceiling fans and just make it nicer and upgraded."

The more dramatic upgrades include a two-story library and multimedia center with a covered playground.

"There's going to be an outdoor covered play court," said Iwase.  "P.E. is a very important part of their lives and this will enable them to have P.E. even if it's raining."

As part of the multimillion dollar facelift, the portables will be gone.  Instead, developers will build a brand new building that will house 10 new classrooms.

The school is a transitional campus for military keiki and school leaders say having new facilities will improve the learning environment for the keiki.

"We really think that school needs to be a place where they want to be, where they are excited about going to and having a new facility will be great," said Iwase.

The construction will be in three phases and is scheduled to take three years to complete.

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