Mauka Lani Funds OK’d For Building

Wednesday - June 14, 2006
By Kerry Miller
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The chronic problem of overcrowding in Makakilo classrooms may ease somewhat as early as next spring.

Mauka Lani Elementary School principal Carlyn Fujimoto is keeping her hopes up and her fingers crossed that her school’s new classroom building will be up by the spring of 2007.

The school has been allotted $4,583,000 from the state for the new building. “We got notification about a month ago that they (state Department of Education) had to put it out for bid.”

The crowded Makakilo school currently operates with 16 permanent and 13 portable classrooms. While it has a capacity of 520 students, enrollment hovers above 600 and is expected to increase as housing development in area is on the rise.

The community has lobbied for years to get funding for the Mauka Lani expansion bumped higher on the list of budget priorities with the state Department of Education.

“Of course we’re excited,” Fujimoto said.“We want to see it finished by the end of this coming school year.”

The school still awaits word on which contractor won the bid, and exactly when construction will begin at the campus on Panana Street.

The new eight-classroom building, housing six general education classes, a special education class and a computer resource center, will all be constructed in phases, Fujimoto explained. The first floor will have the class for students with special needs, and it will be ADA accessible. Support services offices will also be at ground level. The general ed classrooms will occupy the second floor.

The total expected cost for the project is $5,160,000. Gov. Lingle released $577,000 for the design last May. Completion date is projected for May 2007.

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