Ask the Mayor: What are the Plans for UHMC’s Former Student Residences?
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: Are there any plans for the derelict former student residences at Ka‘ahumanu Avenue and Wahinepio Drive? The buildings just seem to look worse and worse as the months go by. I saw a sign go up a long time ago regarding a “hospitality academy,” but there never seems to be any activity on the property, so I don’t think the hospitality academy actually exists.
Has there been any thought given to renovating the buildings and using them for low-income housing and/or homeless shelters? If not, then why not? If the plan is to just let the buildings continue to rot, then why not have the fire department burn them down as a training exercise?
A: I checked with the University of Hawaii Maui College as to the status of the buildings. The former student dorms will be renovated for the Hospitality Academy of Maui, a learning lab for UHMC Hospitality and Tourism students where they will be able to get hands-on training by operating an actual hotel.
Thus far, $3.5 million in funding was approved by the state legislature. Once the architectural design phase is complete and the construction contract has been awarded, it’s expected to take about 12 months to renovate the first two buildings; fundraising campaigns are being planned to renovate the remaining two buildings.
UHMC is excited to add a new facility to the campus that will enhance student learning, and appreciates the community’s patience during this process.
Want to Ask the Mayor?
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected], by phone at 270-7855 or by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.