KAPAIA — The site where the Adolescent Drug Treatment Center will be located has always been a special place for kahu Jade Waialeale Battad.
“I come here to just sit and enjoy before driving away,” Battad said. “This place has a special feeling. When I drove up this morning and saw the land cleared, I had Jesus bumps.”
Battad officiated at the construction blessing on Wednesday by Layton Construction, contractors for the ADTC that will be on Maalo Road, close to Lihue.
“Traditionally, Layton has always done blessings for the construction sites,” said Dale Keep of Layton Construction. “We did a grounds blessing in January, and groundwork is already well under way. Normally, Layton builds high rises and apartment buildings, but any time we do a project like this, or the library at Kapaa Elementary School that helps keiki, that gives back to the community, it is a very gratifying experience.”
Groundwork for the treatment center that has been budgeted for $7 million is well under way. Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. wanted a turn at piloting the grader that stopped its hum long enough for the blessing.
‘We’re on a tight schedule,” said Ashley Quinn, Layton project manager. “Two hundred and forty calendar days. It’s almost like having a baby. This project is due March 22, and we’re on schedule.”
Carvalho, in his final months as mayor, recalled the length of time it has taken for the treatment center to reach this point, from the days when the late Bryan Baptiste was mayor and the late John Isobe advocated for the facility.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.