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Kīhei High School Progress Topic of Upcoming Meeting

September 12, 2014, 12:16 PM HST · Updated September 15, 9:16 AM
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Piʻilani Highway (left) file photo by Wendy Osher; Kīhei High School EIS (right), Courtesy image.

Piʻilani Highway (left) file photo by Wendy Osher; Kīhei High School EIS (right), courtesy image.

By Wendy Osher

Discussion on the planned Kīhei High School will take place at an upcoming meeting of the Kīhei Community Association on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014.

The organization has invited a panel of consultants and lawmakers to field questions about the progress of the project and associated improvements.

Panelists include: state Department of Education planner Nick Nochols; Group 70 representative liaison Christine Ruotola; state Senator Roz Baker; and state Representative Kaniela Ing.

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In March 2014, house lawmakers announced that they had secured $130 million for construction of the long-awaited Kīhei High School, and the governor signed off on the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project in November of 2012.

KCA president Michael Moran tells Maui Now that the organization is seeking clarity on when the school will open after learning that the funding secured by state lawmakers is “somehow not all that is needed to begin building.”

“We have brought together many of the most knowledgeable individuals on the topic to inform our membership and the general public the factual information at this month’s meeting,” he said.

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According to the final EIS document, the proposed Kīhei High School project site encompasses 77.2 acres of undeveloped land on the mauka side of Pi‘ilani Highway across from the Pi‘ilani Village residential subdivision.

The school will serve grades 9 to 12 in the South Maui Region, and is designed to support an enrollment capacity of 1,650 students, and approximately 206 supporting staff and faculty.

“As South Maui has grown to a population of over 20,000, and numerous residential projects are already approved to continue to swell this growth, our teenage population continues to be forced to be transported each day to Maui High or Baldwin for their education. While the Kīhei Charter High School continues to do an admirable job, they were not meant to supplant the Board of Education,” said Moran.

Site improvements would include construction of approximately 215,000-square-feet of building space, athletic fields, and associated infrastructure improvements.

An extension of Kūlanihāko‘i Street mauka of Pi‘ilani Highway has also been identified to serve as the main campus access road.

The proposed development has a stated goal that the school will not only serve the enrolled youth, but be a center for the Kīhei community as well, providing opportunities for employment within the South Maui area.

The KCA meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 16, at the Kīhei Charter Middle School, located at 41 East Līpoa Street.

Moran said the “KCA believes after decades of waiting, the time is now.”
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