Gov. releases $26.8M for education facilities; none for Kaua‘i

LIHU‘E — Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Thursday the release of more than $26.8 million for various capital improvement projects at school facilities “statewide,” according to a state press release.

“By prioritizing these school projects, we are making an investment in the education of our keiki while creating local jobs,” Abercrombie said in the press release.

Kaua‘i, however, is not on Abercrombie’s list.

The money will benefit 43 schools “statewide,” including 37 on O‘ahu, two on Maui, two on Big Island and one on Moloka‘i.

The vast majority of the money — $21.5 million — will be released to O‘ahu schools. Big Island schools will receive $3.11 million, the Maui schools will receive $336,500 and Moloka‘i High School will receive $171,207.

A long list of O‘ahu schools will also benefit from an additional $885,700 to be distributed “statewide” for relocation or construction of temporary facilities to meet enrollment shifts and other needs. This portion of the funding will benefit 22 projects for 10 O‘ahu schools, two projects for one Maui school and two projects in one Big Island school.

The press release states the priority projects were identified by members of the state Legislature, and Abercrombie approved and released the funds.

“There was no intention of leaving Kaua‘i out,” state spokeswoman Donalyn DelaCruz said.

CIP monies for facilities in Kaua‘i schools were announced in previous state press releases, she said. In January, ‘Ele‘ele Elementary School received CIP funds, and in April, Koloa Elementary School also received some funds, according to DelaCruz.

On April 19, Abercrombie released $28.02 million for education-related CIPs statewide. A portion of those funds, $8 million, was to be divided among eight schools statewide, including Koloa Elementary School, to be used for design, construction and relocation of temporary facility buildings.

On March 7, Abercrombie released $7.48 million for education-related CIPs statewide. A portion of those funds, $500,000, was for playground equipment and walkways at five elementary schools statewide, including Kapa‘a Elementary School.

On Feb. 23, Abercrombie released $16 million for education-related CIPs statewide. The release did not specify which facilities would receive funds.

On Jan. 11, Abercrombie released $14.2 million for education-related CIPs statewide. A portion of those funds, $1.5 million, was for health and safety improvements at ‘Ele‘ele Elementary School on Kaua‘i and at O‘ahu’s Kane‘ohe Elementary School.

On Dec. 13, Abercrombie and DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi announced the DOE awarded a Power Purchase Agreement contract to install photovoltaic systems at 15 Kaua‘i schools, at no cost to the state.

On Dec. 30, Abercrombie released $22 million for education, including $6 million for a new library building at Kapa‘a Elementary School. The rest of the money went to a student housing facility at University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

• Léo Azambuja, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or lazambuja@ thegardenisland.com.

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