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DOE Provides Cool for Hawai‘i Schools

September 1, 2017, 1:56 PM HST
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Gov. David Y. Ige and state Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto announced yesterday that the state has kept its promise to put air conditioners in 1,000 Hawai‘i classrooms.

In his 2016 State-of-the-State address, Gov. Ige said, “Our highest single obligation is to take care of our children” when he announced a program to cool public school classrooms in energy-efficient ways that align with the state’s commitment to end its dependence on imported fossil fuels.

“I am pleased to announce that we have kept our promise,” said the governor. “One thousand classrooms now have air conditioning and over 300 more will be complete by the end of September. In addition, hundreds more have been cooled using other heat abatement strategies,” Gov. Ige said. “Teachers cannot be effective and students fail to learn when classrooms are too hot, and we will not stop now. Work will continue in the schools remaining on the heat abatement list, and additional projects will move forward as funding becomes available.”

“I’d like to congratulate our Facilities Office, Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson and our school leaders for their hard work, patience and perseverance with the department’s heat abatement efforts,” said Superintendent Kishimoto. “Throughout this process, they faced numerous challenges but were still able to cool more than 1,000 classrooms under $100 million.”

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“It’s making a huge impact,” said Tala Ealim, a senior at Nānākuli High and Intermediate School. “The learning environment is much more comfortable for the students and teachers. Now we can focus on our schoolwork.”

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Cool Facts

  • Air conditioners have been installed in 1,000 classrooms as of August 31, 2017.
  • 323 more will be installed by the end of September.
  • Air conditioners have been installed in 88 schools on five islands (Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, Maui, Kauaʻi and Molokaʻi).
  • Photovoltaic air conditioning was installed for most of the projects to minimize/negate the energy load of the system.
  • Many classrooms have been provided with ceiling fans, and many cafeterias have been provided with large, high volume fans.

Ten general contractors were used:

  • CC Engineering & Construction
  • HBM Acquisitions LLC
  • Elite Pacific Construction, Inc
  • F&H Construction
  • Arita-Pulson General Contracting LLC
  • Shioi Construction, Inc.
  • MJ Construction
  • A’s Mechanical and Builders Inc.
  • Nan Inc.
  • OpTerra

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For more information on the department of education’s heat abatement program, visit HIDOE’s website.

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