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UH picks architectural firms for Daniel K. Inouye library

    The Presidential Medal of Freedom that will be awarded posthumously to U.S. Sen. Daniel Ino­uye next week is one of many tributes made to the beloved lawmaker since his death Dec. 17.

Internationally renowned architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners of New York City has been selected along with Honolulu-based Clifford Planning & Architecture to design the Daniel K. Inouye library at the University of Hawaii.

Interim UH President David Lassner made the announcement Tuesday in Washington, D.C., at a reception hosted by the Daniel K. Inouye Institute. The late senator will be honored Wednesday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — at the White House.

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners says it has completed nearly 250 projects in more than 100 cities worldwide since its founding in 1955, including UH-Manoa’s East-West Center.

Some of the firm’s other works include the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston; the San Francisco Main Public Library; the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland; and the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

Clifford Planning’s projects have included renovating the Prince Kuhio Federal Building and designing a surgical clinic at Tripler Army Medical Center, according to its website.

Last month, the UH Board of Regents agreed to slow the process for pursuing the planned center to house Inouye’s congressional papers and dramatically cut the state funding it will initially seek for the project.

The move came about after Inouye’s family asked that UH take more time to get public feedback and to obtain more accurate information on the size and cost of the project.

The UH administration had planned to ask the regents to approve expedited plan for a proposed $27.5 million facility, including $15 million in state general obligation bonds and $10 million in federal funds. The regents instead approved requesting $5 million in state bond financing.

The planned project generated criticism not only for the speed in which UH was pursuing it but the hefty price tag. At $27 million, it would have been the priciest new building on a per-square-foot basis that UH has pursued in years.

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