Maui Waena School Expansion to Begin After Delays
By Wendy Osher
A $5.1 million classroom expansion project at Maui Waena Intermediate School is scheduled to break ground next week after several delays, Representative Justin Woodson of Maui announced today.
“I am very pleased to report that the Maui Waena Eight Classroom Expansion Project is moving forward and is officially set to commence next week Monday, June 16,” said Woodson in a press release statement today announcing the news.
Woodson, who represents the Central Maui area that includes Kahului, Puʻunēnē, Old Sand Hills, and Maui Lani said, “This is a great accomplishment and testament to the hard work of the community and all those who have worked towards overcoming the obstacles that we have encountered with the project.”
The expansion project is needed to meet increasing enrollment demands in the Central Maui area.
In October, the Department of Education identified Maui Waena Intermediate as the middle school with the fourth largest enrollment in the state, reporting a total of 1,095 students.
According to an environmental assessment filed for the project, that enrollment is anticipated to “increase significantly” due to ongoing construction of subdivisions in the surrounding Maui Lani area.
Plans for the expansion were originally presented in 2007; however, Woodson said, the project encountered a number of setbacks through the years.
A final environmental impact statement was filed for the project in June of 2013, calling for the construction of a two-story, 34-foot tall building, that includes three classrooms each for science and general education, one choral room, and one computer resource center.
Maui Waena Intermediate School is described as the largest middle school on the island. The intermediate facility is the district middle school for students advancing out of Kahului, Lihikai, and Pōmaikaʻi Elementary Schools. It also serves as a feeder campus for Maui High School in Kahului.
Woodson said he was successful in bringing together key players that included Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, the county permitting division, the project architect and contractor, school principal Jamie Yap, and representatives from the state Department of Education to “identify and eliminate obstacles to the start of construction.”