By David Kvasnicka
Police say they have obtained a county permit to move forward with the construction of the South Maui Police Station. It ends a long and drawn out process involving the Maui County Council.
Asst. Police Chief Lawrence Hudson conveyed the news in a meeting between the senior leadership of the Maui Police Department today. The project is said to be the largest ever undertaken by Maui police. The South Maui station will rival the size of the police headquarters in Wailuku.
Chief Gary Yabuta described the project as the department’s “largest ever.”
Hudson said they were yet to settle on a building contractor for the job. So far, they had received around 50 bids for the project.
Hudson said construction was timelined for 16 months, not including rain days and any other interruptions. The timeline is significantly shorter than the two years originally reported.
When asked if the project could be kept within budget, Hudson replied that there was a $1.8 million fund for “change orders” and other irregularities. But he said that it was likely it would stay within budget.
From the outset, the county desired that the new station run on renewable energy. As a result, additional funds were sourced to install photovoltaic (solar) panels to provide some of the building’s energy needs.
Part of the funds will be provided by a loan from the US Department of Agriculture. Police said that this method of obtaining funds had never been done before. It answers the question of where a large portion of the money was to come from for the new station.
The originally reported cost of the project was $40 million, but it has been confirmed by Hudson that the ceiling for bidders is $36 million.
The South Maui Police Station will replace the storefront Kihei Police Station, located in the Kihei Town Center near Foodland on South Kihei Rd. The current station in Kihei is viewed as inadequate for South Maui. The site of the new station will be on the mauka side of Piilani Hwy. near Kamalii Elementary School.