PUHI — Kate Conway does not start her new job as Head of School until next Wednesday, but was pressed into service with her first task — the groundbreaking for a new classroom, Thursday at the Island School campus.
Officiated by Kumu Sabra Kauka, the construction of a large, new classroom building is the next step in fulfilling a long-term development plan for the Island School Puhi campus that calls for serving 500 students.
“In 1968, we received approval for a Robotics and Mathematics classroom,” said Kathy Richardson, the Island School board president. “Then we were hit by the economic recession and the plan was put on hold. In 2018, we decided to restart the project.”
The plan for the new classroom calls for constructing and outfitting a sturdy two-story building that will rise adjacent to the last row of classrooms adjacent to the athletic fields. The classroom will feature six flexible-use classrooms with a “maker space” designed for “deeper learning” course work, states an Island School release.
Sean Magoun, the Island School Director of Admissions, said site work will start July 1 headed by Cushnie Construction whose Laura Cushnie said they have been involved with the Island School Puhi campus for the past 30 years.
Construction of the new facility is estimated at $5.2 million, and will add 10,488 square feet of learning space to the campus. The new classroom building will also enable Island School to implement all the coursework priorities it set in 2016 when student enrollment surpassed the school’s 390 capacity.
The new coursework would add engineering classes, expand the technology curriculum, add to a set of certified advanced placement classes for high school students, and offer several “deeper learning” opportunities where students can explore, solve, discover, and innovate.
The increased space would also allow the school to welcome more community groups, and more all-island learning teams to its campus. It places Island School to become an even stronger part of a package of resources for Kaua‘i residents, and for new families who are attracted to business opportunities on Kaua‘i.
Funding for the project is provided through grants and donations from foundations, companies, and individuals.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.