Maui News

Kūlanihākoʻi High School is approved as new Kīhei campus name

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Artistʻs rendering of the future high school library and cafeteria building currently under construction at Kūlanihākoʻi High School. Photo Credit: Dept. of Education

Kūlanihākoʻi High School is now the official name of the campus currently under construction in Kīhei, Maui, following Thursdayʻs approval by the Hawaiʻi State Board of Education.

The name honors the Kūlanihākoʻi Stream and gulch, which run adjacent to the campus on its northern boundary, and once sustained the Kaʻonoʻulu ahupuaʻa and brought life to the land through farms and fishponds. 

Artistʻs rendering of the library and cafeteria building interior at the Kūlanihākoʻi High School campus in Kīhei. Photo Credit: Dept. of Education

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education recommended the name after extensive research and deliberation by a collaborative community group made up of Native Hawaiian cultural experts, historians, educators, archaeologists, researchers, community members with generational ties to the area, complex area and school officials, and current and future students.


Community input was also solicited and received in a virtual community meeting earlier this year. 

Construction of the new library and cafeteria building in June 2022. Photo Credit: Dept. of Education

“The official naming of our campus is a long-awaited decision that will give our school community a unified identity and our students a proud shared history throughout their lives,” Kūlanihākoʻi High School Principal Halle Maxwell said. “We want to thank our dedicated naming hui volunteers and our community members for bringing their unique perspectives and collective expertise together to honor Hawaiian culture and the rich history of this land.”

Under Board Policy 301-8, campus names must be a unique identifier to promote and represent a school’s location or identity and be approved by the Board of Education


The HIDOE reports that Kūlanihākoʻi High School opened to ninth-graders at the beginning of School Year 2022-23 at a temporary site at Lokelani Intermediate School until Phase II of construction is completed at the end of 2022. Phase II will construct the upper campus and includes administration, classroom, library and cafeteria buildings, along with physical education locker rooms, a playcourt, temporary playfield and open spaces. Future phases will continue construction as funding is available. 

The school plans to relocate to the new campus over winter break and officially open to all grade levels to launch the spring semester in January 2023. At full capacity, the campus is designed for an enrollment of 1,600 students.


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