East Hawaii News

New UH-Hilo Dormitory Opening August 19

August 16, 2013, 5:11 PM HST
* Updated August 18, 11:42 AM
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Until recently, the student housing situation at UH-Hilo has been the cause of a familiar routine in East Hawai`i: a mid-August crunch of incoming students (and occasionally their parents) scouring rental listings to find apartments, studios, and occasionally even hostels to meet student’s housing needs in time for the start of the fall semester.

Until recently, the University of Hawai`i at Hilo had only 600 housing units available to a student population that exceeds 4,000.

That on-campus housing shortage is about to be alleviated in part with the opening of three new student housing structures on Monday, Aug. 19.

Representing the first new student housing project since 1989, the 105,500 square-foot complex across from the main university entrance on Kawili Street is capable of housing over 300 students.

The floor plan for two bedroom units in the new student housing facility at UHH. University of Hawai`i image.

The floor plan for two bedroom units in the new student housing facility at UHH. University of Hawai`i image.

Along with a first-floor common area that includes laundry facilities, pool tables, and a concession lounge, the attached three-story buildings will be mostly comprised of two bedroom apartment-style units.

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The newly completed project represents the first phase of an ongoing development meant to meet the needs of students and faculty. Phase two of the project will eventually include commercial structures.

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To allow the university greater flexibility in developing the area, the Big Island’s Windward Planning Commission voted on Aug. 1 to re-zone more than 101 acres of school property into a “University District.”

The new designation will allow UHH to develop its property into restaurants, markets, medical offices, financial institutions and private research facilities.

The blessing and grand-opening of the Hale `Alahonua Student Housing project will be attended by Gov. Abercrombie and Mayor Billy Kenoi. Guided tours will be provided after the program, which begins at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 19.

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