Lahainaluna High, Lahaina Intermediate and Princess Nahienaena Elementary schools in Lahaina will reopen to students after the fall break in October now that their soil, water and air have been deemed safe, and monitoring will continue, state and federal officials said in a news conference today.
“We can confidently say it is safe for students and staff to return to all three campuses,” said Kenneth Fink, director of the state Department of Health.
Students and staff from King Kamehameha III Elementary School, which was damaged beyond repair in the wildfire, will be accommodated temporarily at Princess Nahienaena Elementary while a longer-term temporary school is built for approximately $5 million in the Pulelehua area, officials announced.
>> Oct. 5: For Lahainaluna High School students, Oct. 5 will be the last day of school at their temporary “school within a school” at Kulanihakoi High School in Kihei.
>> Oct. 6: Lahainaluna High faculty and staff will report back to their original school for planning and workday without students. Faculty and staff for Lahaina Intermediate and Princess Nahienaena Elementary also return to work on their campuses in Lahaina on Oct. 6.
>> Oct. 16: After fall break, students will return to Lahainaluna High School.
>> Oct. 17: Lahaina Intermediate students will return to their campus.
>> Oct. 18: Students of the two elementary schools will begin attending classes at the Princess Nahienaena Elementary campus. “This arrangement is designed to be a short-term solution, using high-quality tents that are equipped with power and air conditioning, (and) a wood floor, and create a comfortable teaching and learning environment,” Hayashi said.
The longer-term temporary school site in Pulelehua for King Kamehameha III will be built with Federal Emergency Management Agency funds until a permanent location is found, Hayashi said.
The project will take about 95 days as the design is still in a development phase, according to Col. Jesse T. Curry, recovery field office commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“The school may be temporary but will stand as a reminder that despite grief and loss, Lahaina’s children will have a space to continue to learn, to dream and to thrive,” Curry said.
Curry said officials are committed to using local contractors for the project.
“Our goal is to complete this as quickly as possible,” said Curry, adding that requirements will need to be met for critical utilities such as water, electricity and sewage.
A permanent location for the King Kamehameha III campus has yet to be determined. In responding to a reporter’s question about a timeline, Hayashi said it would be “premature” to discuss.
“The long-term solution will need to be up to the community and up to the county,” Gov. Josh Green said.
Hayashi said professional cleaning will be done for all interior and exterior spaces of the schools to remove any debris from the Aug. 8 fire, and finalize health and safety guidelines.
Gov. Josh Green, Hawaii Department of Education Superintendent Keith Hayashi along with state and federal officials will provide updates on the reopening of Lahaina schools and plans for a temporary replacement school site for King Kamehameha III Elementary, which was damaged beyond repair.
>> Kenneth Fink, director of the state Department of Health
>> Col. Jesse T. Curry, recovery field office commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
>> Bob Fenton, chief federal response coordinator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
The livestream is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. today.