Grant boosts Kilauea gym’s progress

KILAUEA — The orange flags fluttered in the trades blowing in off the Kilauea plain, Wednesday, at the Kaua‘i Christian Academy gym.

“Those are where the water connections are going to be made,” said Daniel Moore, principal of the school on Lighthouse Road in Kilauea. “The water connection, a fire access road and the septic tanks are about the only remaining items left before we can move into the gym.”

David Goller, manager of the Princeville branch of First Hawaiian Bank, rolled into the parking lot, his car’s tires crunching along the crushed rock.

In his hands, he carried a large check for $15,000 from the First Hawaiian Bank Foundation. The money is earmarked for the water lines necessary to complete the gym. The water lines also allow the school to expand beyond its current enrollment which allows for a maximum of 100 students.

“First Hawaiian Bank is proud to be Hawai‘i’s largest corporate contributor to non-profit organizations, and we are pleased to support this much-needed facility for the North Shore community,” Goller said, presenting the check to Moore inside the large multi-use facility.

Measuring 150 feet by roughly 80 feet, Moore said when completed, the gymnasium will house a certified kitchen, an office for the North Shore Christian Church, dressing rooms, a stage, storage facilities and an upstairs facility which is currently scheduled to be classrooms.

“We need to get the building operational before we complete the other areas like the certified kitchen,” said Moore, who was born in Kilauea.

Once completed, he said the school will use the facility Mondays through Fridays. If the school gets to the point of hosting either a basketball or volleyball tournament, those will take place on Saturdays. On Sundays, the church will use the facility.

“The upstairs room will be used for elective classes and we should be able to get two or three classes in there,” said Moore, who has fond memories of growing up on Kolo Road.

Goller was impressed with the progress of the building, which was used as an open storage and work area for the school’s 2010 Fall Festival, a community event utilizing the entire campus.

“The church members did a lot of the work,” he said. “I think they’ve got between $400 to $600,000 contributed to the building, excluding the countless hours of labor.”

Moore said the North Shore Christian Church came to the school in 2001 with no place to meet. The church is known in the community as the “Church in the Tent” for the large tent used for its weekly service on the Kaua‘i Christian Academy campus.

“They’ve been here ever since,” Moore said. “It’s been a blessing for the school because they’ve come out to help on every opportunity the school needs help.”

The Kaua‘i Christian Academy was founded in Anahola in 1973 before moving to its current location in 2000, Moore said.

The first building is a portable which was moved to Kilauea from Lihu‘e and houses Moore’s office and some classrooms. A second building, housing more classrooms and the preschool, was built by the school and church volunteers before undertaking the gymnasium project which broke ground in January 2010.

Moore said the enrollment at the close of school was 92 students ranging from preschool through Grade 12.

“We graduated three seniors this year after having no seniors for two years,” Moore said Wednesday. “We’re so proud and hopeful of them because two will be heading to universities, one leaving tomorrow.”

He is anticipating enrollment to be about the same when doors open in the fall.

“We graduated 14 preschool students, but parents don’t usually start looking until it’s closer to school, or even when school starts,” he said. “We’ve also had a lot of interest in our Junior High School, or Grades 7 and 8.”

Moore assumed the principal’s position in 2009.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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