$55 Million Approved for Kona Judiciary Complex
A final reading of the Hawai’i State Judiciary’s appropriations bill passed the State Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill includes $55 million to fund the construction of the new Kona Judiciary Complex.
Now the bill will be transmitted to Governor David Ige for his review and consideration.
In a release from the Hawai’i State Judiciary, Chief Just Mark Recktenwalk thanked the efforts of Big Island legislators, including Representative Nicole Lowen and Senator Josh Green, the leadership of Senators Jill Tokuda, Gilbert Keith-Agaran and Ronald Kouchi, and Representatives Sylvia Luke, Karl Rhoads and Kyle Yamashita. He also thanked the House and Senate for their support.
“The Legislature’s action will enable us to provide the people of West Hawai’i with a secure courthouse, where they can access all court services in one convenient location,” said Chief Justice Recktenwald. “The new courthouse will enable the Judiciary to meet the growing needs of the West Hawaii community.”
“Many members of the bar supported this effort, including the West Hawaii Bar Association, the Hawaii County Bar Association, and the Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA),” Chief Justice Recktenwald continued. “I appreciate the advocacy of HSBA president Gregory Markham, and Robert Kim, Andrew Kennedy and Carol Kitaoka of the West Hawaii Bar Association.”
According to the Hawai’i State Judiciary, court proceedings are held in three separate locations in Kona at the current time. The buildings being used are not designated courtrooms, nor are they designed to serve as courtrooms. Officials say use of those buildings as courtrooms has created security, logistical, and operational problems.
In fall of 2016, the new complex is planned to break ground. Construction costs are over $90 million. The $55 million approved Tuesday will go along with the $35 million that was approved in 2014 by the Legislature.
The public is welcomed to follow the process with the ability to view information, preliminary design plans, and provide feedback online at the Kona Judiciary Complex Project website.