HCC-Palamanui open house Saturday

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PALAMANUI — On Saturday, faculty, students and residents will celebrate the grand opening and open house of the Hawaii Community College-Palamanui.

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PALAMANUI — On Saturday, faculty, students and residents will celebrate the grand opening and open house of the Hawaii Community College-Palamanui.

The facility opened for fall 2015 classes, concentrating students and faculty that had been in Kealakekua, but the time to come together and say thanks, will be this weekend as the first phase is all but completed, said president Kenneth “Marty” Fletcher, and they want to show it off.

This is a chance to show how they can “really start to be on the way to fulfill our mission,” he said, adding the event will feature presentations and discussions from faculty, staff and students about their resources. “We’ve got these two beautiful new kitchens.”

For the event there will also be demonstrations and free samples. More than half the 70 exhibitors are from outside the educational sphere, he said, including hotels, community groups and local businesses. There will be live music from Hawaiian, Polynesian and reggae groups.

The current facility is built to handle what they had at Kealakekua, he said, and he wants to know what people need.

One project they are planning to open is landscape design and installation. It won’t be a purely classroom experience, he said, as the students will be turning the “very basic serviceable landscape” into a more permanent arrangement. That course will include edible landscapes, organic plantings, use of native Hawaiian plants and other programs. It will also help to show the history of the area, he said.

“We serve the whole life trajectory. It’s our mission,” Fletcher said, adding they offer courses for a variety of people, including those who are working and need to remove a ceiling, people trying to finish a degree and those interested in other subjects.

They can also encourage students to remain at home and save money on school, he said, as their credits are fully transferable in the University of Hawaii system and can be used at other four-year universities.

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Fletcher encourages visitors to bring sun protection and a water bottle. They will provide water filling station and paper cups, he said, but it will be best for people to have their own containers.

The event begins at 9 a.m. and runs to 2 p.m. Access is from Kaiminani Drive, makai of the fire station.

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