PUHI — The Kawaikini New Century Public Charter School operated for six years without proper bathrooms.
You read that right.
But all of that changed Thursday when the school celebrated the completion of major work on nine buildings donated to the school by Kamehameha Schools and A&B Properties. Part of the transformation includes, you guessed it, toilets that flush.
“The school has had to use portable toilets for nearly six years since the opening of the school at which time there was no septic system or water lines,” said Leilani Spencer, a project manager.
The eight modular buildings contributed by Kamehameha Schools arrived via Young Brothers last year, along with buildings Kamehameha Schools contributed to the Kanuikapono school in Anahola.
Work on getting the buildings began in the summer, along with the installation of water lines, fire hydrants, sidewalks and paved roads.
“All of those involved in the project gave generously of their time, resources and expertise far above and beyond any words on a contract,” Spencer said.
Spencer said the work was very challenging, due to the tight timeline over the summer break.
“Much of the time it was like a relay race,” Spencer said about trying to get the work done on time. “This could have been a disaster, but everyone worked together with the common mission of ‘make it work!’ They did all of this with patience, ingenuity, tolerance, cooperation, hard work, and lots of aloha. We are truly blessed.”
Unlike most every other ribbon cutting , the celebration included a ceremonial First Flush in the boys’ and girls’ restrooms.
Honors were done by Leialoha Kauahi, former Kawaikini director, and Ezra Kanoho, former Kawaikini board member of Supporting the Language of Kauai.
Mokihana Powers of the Kapaa First Hawaiian Church presided over the blessing ceremony attended by the school’s children, parents and other dignitaries, including Waialeale Sarsonia of the Kamehameha Schools.
“It is so awesome to be part of getting the buildings out,” Sarsona said. “But it is more awesome to see the buildings operating.” She said the significance was the ability to contribute the buildings, but insignificant compared to the people who make the buildings operational.