Capital improvement projects proposed for Big Island

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Kalima Kinney, Volcano School of Arts and Sciences principal.
  • An artist’s rendering of the proposed expansion to the Volcano School of Arts and Sciences. (Courtesy render/Boone Morrison Architects, Inc)

HILO — The state House of Representatives has passed its list of proposed capital improvement projects for the next two fiscal years, including nearly $250 million for various Hawaii County projects.

The majority of the county’s improvement projects are school-related, with 22 schools receiving funding for various improvements and repairs in the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years.

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Two of the most substantial school projects are a $22.7 million project to build a new building that includes four classrooms and a library at Ha‘aheo Elementary School and a $12 million project at Volcano School of Arts and Sciences.

According to the proposal, the goal for the $12 million will be to unite Volcano School of Arts and Sciences students on a single campus. Currently, the charter school has two campuses, one on Old Volcano Road and one on Haunani Road, both in Volcano.

Principal Kalima Kinney said the funds will be used to expand the Haunani Road campus with a 16-classroom building for Pre-K to eighth-grade students, along with labs, gardens, a multipurpose center and more. The school also is in the process of raising an additional $3 million that will be used to build an administrative building.

However, Kinney said the school will still have to operate two campuses in order to accommodate high school students.

Construction at the school is expected to be completed within two years, Kinney said, although no construction work has begun yet.

Outside the realm of education, other Big Island projects received substantial funding.

Hawaii Health Systems Corp. is slated to receive $26.9 million for improvements and renovations to its five Big Island facilities.

The largest of all Big Island projects on the list is $53.9 million to improve Hilo Harbor. The majority of the funds, nearly $49 million, will be awarded in fiscal year 2021.

According to the proposal, the funds will be used for “plans, land acquisition, design and construction of … projects that will provide for safter more efficient use of existing and/or additional operational areas throughout Hilo Harbor.”

The proposal also notes that such a project is necessary in order to qualify for federal aid funding.

The Hilo International Airport also will receive $23.8 million — nearly all of which will be awarded in fiscal year 2021 — for terminal improvements, and Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport will receive $15 million.

None of the funds for any of the projects have yet been released, as the current fiscal year has not ended.

The remainder of the projects include:

SCHOOLS

$400,000 replacing the 2nd floor ceilings in Building L at Hilo Intermediate School

$300,000 for design for architectural barrier removal at Honokaa Elementary School

$200,000 for fire alarm wiring in Building D at Ho’okena Elementary School

$450,000 for design for architectural barrier removal at Honokaa High and Intermediate School

$750,000 for softball field improvements at Kapiolani Elementary School

$200,000 to replace the cafeteria walk-in chill-box and freezer at Ka’u High and Pahala Elementary School

$207,000 to replace campus fire alarms at Ke Kula ‘O ‘Ehunuikaimalino

$270,000 to replace campus fire alarms at Keaau Elementary School

$175,000 for campus-wide rewiring of fire alarms at Keaau High School

$90,000 for campus-wide repair of fire alarm system at Keaau Middle School

$14.9 million for a new classroom building, and improvements to access roads and parking lots at Kealakehe Elementary School

$3 million for an all-weather synthetic track at Kealakehe High School

$140,000 to replace air conditioning in portables at Keaukaha Elementary School

$500,000 to replace fire alarms campus-wide at Keonepoko Elementary School

$1.1 million for softball field improvements at Konawaena High School

$180,000 to design Americans with Disabilities Act transition at Paauilo Elementary and Intermediate School

$150,000 to replace playground equipment behind building B at Waiakea Elementary School

$5 million for a girls’ athletic locker room at Waiakea High School

$376,000 to repair the ceiling and re-roof building B at Waimea Elementary School

$1.2 million for lighting and weather protection improvements at Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School

HEALTH

$1.1 million for improvements at the Honalo Marshalling Yard produce processing center

$2.1 million for hospital construction and repairs at Hale Ho’ola Hamakua

$500,000 for bathroom, kitchen and flooring renovations at Ka’u Hospital

CONSERVATION

$1 million to purchase 2,800 acres for the Haloa ‘Aina conservation easement in Kona

$100,000 to purchase 990 acres for the Ho’omau Forest conservation easement in South Kona

$200,000 to remove structures and hazardous materials at Pu’u Wa’awa’a Forest Reserve

$150,000 for a new bulk fuel storage tank at the Hilo Baseyard

$1 million to modify and replace ungulate exclusion fence on Mauna Kea

$400,000 to build a 92-acre fence on the cone at Pu’u Wa’awa’a Forest Reserve to protect native endangered plant species

$250,000 to develop a facility for the proper storage of historic documents and artifacts at the East Hawaii Historic Preservation Center

$500,000 for parking, restroom and trailhead restoration plans and design at Pololu Trailhead

WATER AND SEWER

$1.8 million for sewer system plans and design for a priority cesspool replacement area for Clean Water for Reefs Puako, provided the county provides matching funds equaling 20% of state funds

$900,000 to design a dual popping system to irrigate with recycled water and provide safe access to potable water at the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Facility, provided the county provides matching funds equaling 20% of state funds

$10.5 million to build a 10-million gallon water reservoir for the Lalamilo Water System, provided the county provides matching funds equaling 20% of state funds

$3 million for an exploratory well for nonpotable agricultural use in North Kohala, provided the county provides matching funds equaling 20% of state funds

$600,000 to plan and design a wastewater treatment plant in Pahoa, provided the county provides matching funds equaling 20% of state funds

HARBORS

$150,000 to replace wooden loading dock at Kailua-Kona wharf

$500,000 for plans and design to build a new boat ramp and pier in Puna

$500,000 to install new structural plastic lumber fenders at Wailoa Small Boat Harbor

$9 million for improvements at Kawaihae Harbor

HIGHWAYS

$2 million for design to replace Hakalau Bridge on the Hawaii Belt Road

$2.5 million for design to replace the Kolekole Stream Bridge on the Hawaii Belt Road

$200,000 to build a runaway truck ramp along Kawaihae Road

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII AT HILO

$3 million for pharmacy laboratory improvements

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$13 million for renewal, improvement and modernization projects at UH-Hilo

$321,000 for repairs and maintenance for the UH-Hilo Aeronautical Sciences Program

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