Easter Seals Will Build On Makakilo Lot

Wednesday - April 12, 2006
By Kerry Miller
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The ever-expanding Kapolei community will soon add Easter Seals to its population of families and businesses.

As early as this summer, Easter Seals Hawaii hopes to break ground for a new service center on a 3.3-acre lot in Makakilo. Easter Seals already owns the land, but awaits the results of an environmental assessment test and permits before it can start construction.

“We knew the Kapolei population was growing and were able to purchase the land about a year and a half ago,” said ESH president and CEO John Howell. “We hope to be through that process (the assessment test) very shortly.”

There’s a strong need for Easter Seals in Kapolei, he noted, and the organization is excited about the future 19,000-square-foot building that will house support programs for West Oahu clients of all ages in classroom and therapy settings. About 60 to 100 clients with disabilities can receive help here daily. An outdoor recreation/play area also is planned at the site.

“There’s an incredible growth of families out there (Kapolei),” Howell said. “The demand for services has really gone off the charts.”

Besides care to people with speech disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy or other challenges, Howell is excited for the 100 jobs that the center will create. Another plus is that current Kapolei clients won’t have to make the trek into Honolulu.

“The neighborhood board unanimously supported us out there. There’s a need for it.”

The new center will come at a time when Easter Seals is marking its 60th year as Hawaii’s largest early-intervention services provider. Howell and other ESH staff have kept their fingers crossed for all the plans to come full circle.

“It was kind of our hope. We’ve been very, very fortunate. All the money has been collected and identified.”

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