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Kamehameha Schools to buy Kailua-Kona school site

    The entrance to Hualalai Academy is seen in this screen shot.
    Aerial view

KAILUA-KONA » Kamehameha Schools has an agreement to buy the campus of a private Kailua-Kona school that is closing at the end of the school year.

The private trust is evaluating options for using the Hualalai Academy site, Kamehameha Schools spokesman Kekoa Paulsen said. One option may be to use the campus for a preschool, he told West Hawaii Today.

The 14-acre campus is three miles north of Kailua-Kona on the slopes of Hualalai.

The trust must make sure the transaction is complete before deciding how the property will be used, Paulsen said.

"We are still in the due-diligence period that is required before our purchase can be finalized," Paulsen said.

Hualalai Academy plans to shut down at the end of this school year, after a year of financial problems that nearly culminated in a closure last month, board President Matthew James told parents in a letter Monday morning.

The board opted to take an offer of an undisclosed amount from Kamehameha Schools to purchase the campus. Another private school, Makua Lani Christian Academy, also made an offer for the property.

Hualalai Academy, which has about 120 students in kindergarten through 8th grade, was founded in 1996.

Kamehameha Schools was established in 1883 by the will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. It gives admissions preference to Native Hawaiian students and enrolls nearly 7,000 at campuses statewide.

The schools’ endowment is valued at than $9 billion and includes nearly 365,800 acres of land and other assets.

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