HONOLULU — Hawaii Gov. David Ige has announced that the preferred location for Oahu’s new jail is a site in Halawa Valley where the state Department of Agriculture’s Animal Quarantine Facility is located.
Ige said the site was one of four finalists and,was selected to build a jail to replace the aging and inefficient Oahu Community Correctional Center in Kalihi in part because it is close to the existing Halawa Correctional Facility.
The location would make it easier for the existing lockup and the proposed new jail to share some services. The evaluation also found that the site is convenient for moving inmates to downtown Honolulu courthouses.
The property has a buildable land area of about 25 acres (10 hectares) and is already owned by the state, which also helped boost the site in the rankings, according to a consultant hired to identify and evaluate the various sites.
The size of the property would allow for a low-rise design for the new jail, which is efficient to operate and would save the state hundreds of millions of dollars in construction costs.
Earlier this year, another consultant’s report listed preliminary cost estimates for the new jail ranging from $433 million for a low-rise facility to $673 million for a high-rise jail.
State lawmakers have wanted to replace the current jail for years, arguing the jail’s prime 16-acre (6.5 hectare) site in urban Honolulu along the planned rail line should be redeveloped.