Sports

Ceremony Saturday For Pana‘ewa Covered Play Courts, Center

July 6, 2012, 3:26 PM HST
* Updated July 9, 5:39 PM
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Sports enthusiasts in the Pana‘ewa area of the nation’s wettest city now have another option when the rains fall.

A grand opening will be held Saturday for the new covered play courts at Hilo’s Pana‘ewa park.

The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Refreshments will be served.

The $3 million Pana‘ewa Covered Play Courts features three regulation high school-sized basketball courts that can be transformed into regulation volleyball or tennis courts. Retractable overhead netting allows the courts to be used simultaneously.

County officials said the floor of the 26,000-square-foot structure is made with modular interlocking tiles designed to reduce impact-related injuries without sacrificing athletic performance.

Workers were busy this week getting the new Pana’ewa facility ready for Saturday’s dedication ceremony. Photo by Dave Smith.

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The covered courts have an open-air design with an insulated ceiling to avoid costly air-conditioning. The design, combined with translucent skylights, minimizes the need for artificial lighting during daytime hours. For nighttime use, there are energy-efficient LED lights.

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Also to be dedicated Saturday is the newly restored and expanded Pana‘ewa Family Center that replaces the previous center damaged by fire several years ago.

Located next to the play courts, the center includes an administrative office, 1,400-square-foot multi-purpose room and ADA-compliant bathrooms. The center will provide space for community activities including a computer lab and future Summer Fun programs.

Funding for the center came from the county and through fundraisers held by the Pana‘ewa community. Construction was done by county workers with help from volunteers from the Pana‘ewa Hawaiian Homestead Community Association and The Men of Pa‘a.

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Another component of the project is a new multi-sport scoreboard for the park’s main softball field and football field.

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