Asphalt Dispute Delays Grand Opening of Hilo High Gym

September 11, 2014, 8:54 AM HST (Updated September 11, 2014, 10:48 AM)
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Saturday’s grand opening of the new Hilo High School gymnasium has been put on hold as one of the final parts of the project has yet to be completed.

Hilo Principal Robert Dircks stated in an e-mail sent Wednesday that a “scheduling dispute between contractors” is the reason for the postponement, and because of the disagreement, “the gymnasium site will not be completed to a level where the safety of our guests can be assured.”

Dircks was made aware of the issue on Tuesday morning.

The dispute, according to Hilo Interim Athletic Director Roy Kobayashi, is between the contractor and an asphalt company and it involves the paving of the driveway in front of the gymnasium. The school would not divulge the names of the two companies.

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“Actually, it was supposed to be paved last week, and then when they (the contractor) said they couldn’t get it done, they said they would do it this week, and obviously, the contractor for the asphalt people said, well, we were ready last week, not this week,” Kobayashi explained.

Both sides have come to an agreement to pave the driveway either Thursday or Friday, weather permitting. It has not been made clear to the school when it will actually take place, and the uncertainty led Dircks to postpone the celebration.

The gymnasium, located below the school’s track-and-field and football practice site, will hold volleyball and basketball games that have been previously held elsewhere. The girls volleyball team is currently playing its games at the Hilo Armory until the new gym is ready. Girls basketball and boys volleyball had been playing at Kawananakoa Gym in Keaukaha, and the boys basketball team played its home games at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.

The planned celebration was supposed to feature various activities, including live music, a volleyball game between Hilo’s varsity team and the faculty, and a shooting competition featuring the school’s three state championship teams in boys basketball.

Dircks said that a new date will be announced once “the site is 100% ready for occupancy.”

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