Maui News

Opening of Kūlanihākoʻi High School campus delayed due to unresolved pedestrian safety issues

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Artist’s rendering of a Kūlanihāko‘i High School classroom building. Photo Credit: Dept. of Education

The opening of the new Kūlanihāko‘i High School campus in Kīhei is delayed due to outstanding issues related to requirements for a grade-separated pedestrian crossing across the Pi‘ilani Highway to access the campus.

The requirement was set by the state Land Use Commission in 2013. On Friday, the Department of Education and the County of Maui issued a joint press release saying work continues on necessary steps to ensure the safety of students.

The Department was hopeful that the school could be allowed to open this month based on a pedestrian safety plan that includes:

  • Crossing guards at the new Kūlanihāko‘i Street traffic roundabout; and
  • School-operated shuttles for students walking to and from school until the crossing is completed.

Department officials say they are “fully committed to working through all of the necessary requirements to open the school in a safe and timely manner.” The HIDOE is also working closely with Maui Mayor Richard Bissen’s administration on “the best way forward.”

“We are at a very important juncture on this. The way to get students who want to attend Kūlanihāko‘i into their new school is by the State and the County working together to address critical and necessary requirements. I’m certain no agency, department, community leader and parent has ever wavered from the need for student safety first and foremost,” said Mayor Richard Bissen, Jr.

“The County will not be issuing a temporary certificate of occupancy at this time and will be working very closely with the Department of Education to systematically get through the required steps. We are focused on the fact that the students are the ultimate beneficiary of all of our efforts.”

–Mayor Richard Bissen

Kūlanihāko‘i High will continue to operate at its temporary location at Lokelani Intermediate School until further notice, and construction work on the Kūlanihāko‘i site will continue to proceed.

A roundabout with a road-level crossing is being built at the entrance to the new Kūlanihākoʻi High School in Kīhei, but the state Land Use Commission required an overpass or underpass for the four-lane Pi’ilani Highway. Photo Credit: Cammy Clark

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