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State Keeps Promise to Cool 1,000 Classrooms

August 31, 2017, 3:29 PM HST · Updated August 31, 3:32 PM
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The state has kept its promise to put air conditioners in 1,000 classrooms, according to an announcement today by Governor David Ige and State Schools Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto.

PC: Office of the Governor.

In his 2016 State-of-the-State address, Gov. Ige said, “Our highest single obligation is to take care of our children” when he announced a program to cool public school classrooms in energy-efficient ways that align with the state’s commitment to end its dependence on imported fossil fuels.

“I am pleased to announce that we have kept our promise,” said Gov. Ige.

According to the announcement, 1,000 classrooms now have air conditioning and 323 others will be complete by the end of September.  The air conditioning units have been installed at classrooms in 88 schools on five islands (Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, Maui, Kauaʻi and Molokaʻi).

A celebration assembly was held on April 8, 2016 at Kaunakakai Elementary to mark the completion of a hybrid solar air conditioning installation project. Sixth-grader and Student Council President Leonahemaikekaimalie Crivello was commended for helping the project become a reality. Photo credit: Kaipo Kiaha (Oiwi Television) via Hawaiʻi Department of Education.

“Teachers cannot be effective and students fail to learn when classrooms are too hot, and we will not stop now. Work will continue in the schools remaining on the heat abatement list, and additional projects will move forward as funding becomes available,” said Gov. Ige.

Dr. Kishimoto said, “I’d like to congratulate our Facilities Office, Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson and our school leaders for their hard work, patience and perseverance with the department’s heat abatement efforts. Throughout this process they faced numerous challenges but were still able to cool more than 1,000 classrooms under $100 million.”

Tala Ealim, a senior at Nānākuli High and Intermediate School said, “It’s making a huge impact. The learning environment is much more comfortable for the students and teachers. Now we can focus on our schoolwork.”

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State officials note that photovoltaic air conditioning was installed for most of the projects to minimize energy load of the system.

In addition to the air conditioning units, state officials say many classrooms have been provided with ceiling fans, and many cafeterias have been provided with large, high volume fans.

Ten general contractors were used for the installation including: CC Engineering & Construction; HBM Acquisitions, LLC; Elite Pacific Construction, Inc; F&H Construction; Arita-Pulson General Contracting, LLC; Shioi Construction, Inc.; MJ Construction; A’s Mechanical and Builders, Inc.; Nan, Inc.; and OpTerra.

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