Maui News

Carden has New Preschool Classroom, Campus Goes Green

September 9, 2015, 1:51 PM HST
* Updated September 9, 4:18 PM
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Carden Academy's preschoolers enjoy the campus's newest classroom, along with new, energy efficient air conditioners and lighting. Credit: Carden Academy of Maui.

Carden Academy’s preschoolers enjoy the campus’s newest classroom, along with new, energy efficient air conditioners and lighting. Credit: Carden Academy of Maui.

By Maui Now Staff

Carden Academy announced the opening of a new pre-kindergarten classroom and the completion of Phase One of their ‘greening’ of the campus, which included the installation of new air conditioners in each classroom.

Twelve four-year-olds enjoyed their first day on campus on Wednesday, Aug. 19, in a new classroom and dedicated playground, as part of the new Pre-K Program.

They joined 131 other kindergarten through 8th Grade students at the upcountry school.

“We’ve been talking about opening a preschool for quite a few years now,” said Nina Sato, the school’s director in an announcement. “With the change of age requirements in the public school system, and the growing need for preschools on Maui, we knew the time was right to open it now. I’m overjoyed to see these new young faces at part of the Carden community.”


The preschool replaces the technology classroom, as the technology is now more accessible in the individual classrooms, school representatives said.


During the summer break modifications were made to each building, including new lighting and cooling systems to create optimum learning environments and healthier classrooms, while also reducing electricity costs.

The project was spearheaded by John Bendon, a Carden board member, parent, and the founding principal of Green Building Hawaiʻi.

Highlights of the Green campus program included the following:

  • Three outdated window air conditioning units in the kindergarten classroom were replaced with one split A/C unit, saving energy and reducing noise caused by the older units.
  • Old A/C units will be replaced with brand new, insulated, heat reducing windows, to bring in natural light while reducing passive solar heating.
  • Formaldehyde-free insulation, certified for school environments, was installed in many classrooms.
  • Several windows received tinting, which will reduce heat transfer and result in improved energy efficiency.
  • LED lights replaced fluorescent ones and energy use for each fixture was nearly cut in half while light levels were increased.
  • The campus already had photovoltaic solar panels in place, and the new changes bring the school closer to their goal of running at net zero for energy use.

Kindergarten teacher Nellie Foster called the changes significant saying, “My classroom gets cool quickly now, and stays cool throughout the day.”

School representatives say the project was funded by the last year’s Annual Fund and the annual Jamboree fundraising event, which raised more than $120,000.

Carden Academy also extended thanks to:

  • Haleakalā Solar for donating labor to replace light fixtures in Carden Hall;
  • Green Building Hawaiʻi and Advanced Energy Innovations for donating fixtures for Carden Hall;
  • Scotts Cooling for donating an air conditioning unit;
  • Randy Wagner for donating the exterior shade on 6th grade;
  • Electric Service of Maui for discounting lighting installation costs; and
  • Maui Glass Tinting Specialists for discounting window film.

Carden Academy purchased the two-acre campus from Grace Church in 2013. “With ownership of the campus, we are now able to make the necessary improvements to the physical plant,” said Sato. “Phase Two of our plan will be more serious upgrades to some of the buildings, and we are excited to have the team from Green Building Hawaiʻi on our side to make them as healthy and efficient as possible.”

Carden Academy is located in Pukalani and offers classes from prekindergarten through eighth grade.

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