Big Island Schools to Benefit from Education Funding
Big Island schools will be among those benefiting from $62.4 million in Department of Education funding released Monday by Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
According to Sen. Malama Solomon, the funds include $100,000 for upgrades to the science lab at Honoka`a High School, and $80,000 for a portable building for special education students at Kohala Elementary.
Kohala Elementary will also be among the schools receiving renovations to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act from $7.5 million released for ADA improvements and gender-equity projects.
Those benefiting from the latter include Keaau and Waiakea high schools, which along with Waipahu High School on Oahu will receive new softball fields. The funding will also allow for completion of the design of the locker room at Konawaena Middle School.
The funding released Monday included $36.3 million for a variety of infrastructure improvements statewide that include building improvements, electrical upgrades and general maintenance and repair projects. The monies are part of the administration’s efforts to whittle down an estimated $265 million repair and maintenance backlog.
The funding released by Abercrombie included:
- $7.5 million for science labs, special education classrooms and other equity projects statewide
- $5.8 million to expand capacity at schools short on classroom space
- $5.2 million related to wages and fringe benefits for 60 staff positions to oversee capital improvement projects. The staff will be moving operations to the former Liliuokalani Elementary School in Kaimuki, Oahu, which closed in 2011 because of dwindling enrollment.