WAIKOLOA VILLAGE — Enthusiastic members of Friends of the Library-Waikoloa Region (FL-WR) showed up in force for their annual meeting Jan. 12 in the Waikoloa Village Association Community Room.
Updates were shared on accomplishments of the past year, including upgrades to the bookmobile, the purchase of Chromebooks for Waikoloa and Kealakehe Schools and the 5K Walk/Run among other events, and priorities for 2018. FL-WR will continue several ongoing literacy and education projects while they work to establish a library in the community.
As a special guest, state Rep. Cindy Evans shared updates on her efforts to bring the library project to fruition. On Dec. 29, she met with State Librarian Stacey Aldrich, the Department of General Services and the architect who designed the Kohala Library and will potentially do the same for a Waikoloa library.
“The initial estimate is a building footprint of 11,000 square feet and approximately 50 parking spaces, which will require approximately 1.5 acres,” she said.
Evans also met with Gary Pinkston, the owner and developer of the planned Waikoloa Village Town Center shopping center, to be located near the post office.
“Pinkston said he is willing to sell 1.6 acres,” she said. “The next step is to get funds to cover all costs associated with acquisition of the property, or $1.6 million. This includes purchase price, costs of due diligence and document preparation that may be required. The state will pay a price based on an official appraisal acceptable to the state.”
Evans added that to help persuade legislators to budget the money, she needs support. She asked Waikoloa residents to write letters of support explaining their need for a library. Evans plans to deliver letters received to all chairpersons.
The letters can be brief, and must be emailed before March to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to her attention at Hawaii State Capitol, Room 438, 415 South Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI 96813.