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Thursday, May 23, 2024
DoE Begins Process of Convincing Lahaina Community to Accept School Relocation Plan
By News Release @ 3:59 AM :: 684 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12

HIDOE presents three possible sites to rebuild permanent campus for King Kamehameha III Elementary

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education held meetings for community members and school staff to provide feedback on three West Maui sites eyed as locations for King Kamehameha III Elementary School's permanment campus.

The Department is seeking comments through May 31 via this online feedback form:

News Release from Hawaii DoE, 22-May-2024

​HONOKŌWAI — The Hawai‘i State Department of Education held two meetings on Tuesday for community members and school staff to provide feedback on three West Maui sites being eyed as locations to rebuild a permanent campus for the fire-damaged King Kamehameha III Elementary School.


The three sites presented are:

The school's original location on Front Street, which was damaged beyond repair in the Aug. 8, 2023, wildfires.

A previously allocated parcel within the future master planned Pulelehua community in Honokōwai, where a temporary campus for the school recently opened.

A previously allocated parcel in Pu‘ukoli‘i Village Mauka within the master planned Kā‘anapali 2020 community.

Dedicated parcels for new elementary schools were included in original plans for Pulelehua and Kā‘anapali 2020 as part of development requirements in place to account for the impact the new communities are expected to have on school enrollments.

HIDOE Deputy Superintendent Heidi Armstrong said that after the wildfires, as enrollment was in flux due to families and staff relocating, the Department honored the school community’s desires to maintain King Kamehameha III Elementary as its own school rather than combining with the nearby Princess Nāhi‘ena‘ena Elementary School. After co-locating on the Princess Nāhi‘ena‘ena campus since October 2023, a temporary school site at Pulelehua that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed in 95 days opened to students on April 1, 2024.


The Department is now starting the process of rebuilding a permanent school for King Kamehameha III Elementary.

Tuesdayʻs feedback meetings included an overview presentation on the three location options and next steps by Rebecca Winkie, the complex area superintendent who oversees schools in West Maui.

About 30 staff members attended an afternoon meeting for faculty and teachers and about 50 people attended an evening meeting open to the community. Attendees were provided time to provide feedback in small groups and individually.

Winkie shared results of a preliminary analysis by HIDOE facilities staff of the three sites, noting that only the Pulelehua site would be able to meet a target timeline of opening in the next three to five years. The Kā‘anapali site would require infrastructure improvements that could take up to 10 years. Development requirements in the burn zone where the original school was located include shoreline setback and height regulations.

“We want to get our students into a permanent school as quickly as possible,” Winkie said.


Winkie said in addition to land availability, cost is another factor. The ground lease for the site of the temporary campus is at a rate of $1 per year for the first three years from the master developer of Pulelehua. The land lease increases to $180,000 for Year 4 and $230,000 for Year 5, with an option to cancel at any time with 180 days notice. The school’s modular structures are also being leased.

The HIDOE is aiming to have a permanent site selected this summer. At that point, the Office of Facilities and Operations will initiate a series of open house meetings across Maui to gather community input on the new school.


A recording of the presentation is available to view here
The slide presentation, with details on each site, can be accessed
Community feedback is being accepted through May 31 via this
online form.



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