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Keauhou Beach Hotel leveled for new education center

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KAILUA-KONA >> A 1960s Big Island hotel has been removed to make way for an education center.

The only remnants left from the Keauhou Beach Hotel were piles of concrete that will be hauled away to be recycled, West Hawaii Today reported Friday.

Built in 1969, the hotel was in business for more than four decades before closing in October 2012.

A subsidiary of Kamehameha Schools purchased the property in 2004 for more than $26 million.

Contractors began demolishing the building last year. From May to September, workers demolished the interior of the building during a soft demolition phase.

The hotel’s exterior walls were torn down during the hard demolition phase, which began in November.

Workers used a high-reach excavator and other heavy machinery to take the building apart piece by piece. To limit the demolition’s impact on the environment, a wrecking ball and explosives were not used.

The leftover concrete will likely be used as general fill material, pavement aggregate and material for drainage improvements.

The educational complex Kahaluu Ma Kai will replace the hotel. The facility plans to blend science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics education with traditional Hawaiian activities, officials said.

Officials expected the demolition work to cost about $11.5 million.

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