Six Maui County Schools to Benefit from Heat Abatement Bill
Governor David Ige signed SB3126 into law, which allows for an emergency appropriation of $100 million to fund equipment and installation costs for air conditioning at public schools in Hawaiʻi. The heat abatement legislation now known as Act 47, will help to improve the learning environment for students and will allow for related energy efficiency measures.
A total of 33 schools will benefit from the legislative funding including six schools in Maui County. Maui County schools on the list are: Kaunakakai Elementary, Kilohana Elementary, Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena Elementary, Lahaina Intermediate, Lihikai Elementary and Maui High School.
The DOE notes that while the schools have been identified on a priority list, it does not mean all classrooms at these campuses would have air conditioning installed.
“Cooling our schools has been my highest priority and we are thankful that our legislators got behind this initiative to make funds quickly available so the Department of Education can continue its work,” said Gov. Ige. “Our students and teachers deserve safe and comfortable learning spaces so students can thrive. We will cool classrooms in energy-efficient ways, starting with the classrooms that need it most,” he said.
Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi also commented saying, “This is truly a great day for Hawaiʻi, particularly for the students and teachers, who will literally feel the benefits of this bill. The collaboration between the Senate and House resulted in a creative solution to fund the DOE program to cool our schools and we should all be proud of what is really an investment into our future.”
House Speaker Joe Souki of Maui commented saying, “It’s been a pleasure working with the governor, the House and my colleagues. I think together, we were able to put out some excellent legislation to cool the schools. Doing it all at one time, I think has never been done before.”
Documents are being processed and recorded to make funds available as early as next week to start work on heat abatement projects outlined in the legislation.