There was not a face mask to be seen Tuesday, observed North Shore Lion William Troutman during a lunch break from the club’s community-service project at the Kilauea Elementary School.
“Yeah, sure,” said North Shore Lion Gary Pacheco, who suffered from the lack of one to-go lunch from Kilauea Market. “You can’t eat through the face mask. It’s a good thing I had a big breakfast.”
Tuesday marked the second day of the week-long project where the club will build and finish a 300-foot-by-four-foot sidewalk around key areas entering the Kilauea School.
“Kilauea School will celebrate its 100th year in 2022,” said Troutman, who has been volunteering with traffic control “until the last day.” “How many kids have fallen? How many people have gotten sick from directing traffic in the drive-thru (especially in inclement weather)? This is badly needed. A lot of people have stopped walking to school, and the traffic backs up all the way to lighthouse road (Kilauea Road).”
Pacheco said the project that will provide additional safety for students walking to and from school, and even teachers, parents and school staff, has been talked about for many years.
“Kilauea School has had its enrollment jump to 341 students this year,” he said in a funds-solicitation letter. “Last April, Principal Sherry Gonsalves and the Lions have developed and submitted a plan, and have received approval from the Department of Education. The DOE has had budget shortfalls for many years, and we feel it will be many years before we would see much-needed access sidewalks for the oldest school buildings in Hawai‘i.”
The solicitation letter was for the $4,000 project budget, covering the costs of material, including concrete, wire mesh for the reinforcement and lumber.
“This is a collaborative effort,” Lion and project chair Conrad Schmidt said. “The contractors, including Rick Hurst and his crew, Kaz Kapp, a Kilauea School parent, and Nelson Armitage of No Ka Oi Construction, are donating their services. The North Shore Lions will have a crew of three or four men available for the project that will see the concrete pour on Friday (weather-permitting).”
The crew was joined by Kilauea School students Tiger Sablan-Schmidt and Justin “Bam Bam” Noble, both grandchildren of North Shore Lions. Pacheco said the good thing about community events is how it draws people together.
Troutman said in the event of a budget shortfall, the club will draw from its scholarship fund. If there is a surplus, the excess will be turned over to the Kilauea School PTSA that gets called on for a lot of the school’s needs.
“Maybe we can have people swing by Friday to watch the pour and donate,” Troutman said.
Following the concrete work and site cleanup, Lion Odie Dill of Kaua‘i Seal Coat and the Lions will be painting over the crosswalks.
“Nah,” said North Shore Lions President Patrick O’Connell. “When we got up, we didn’t have anything better to do, so we’re just sweating in the sun, staying out of the way.”