County gym needed in Kapa‘a

To the County of Kaua‘i administration/recreation/council;

It’s been over 50 years that I have lived on Kaua‘i, growing up on O‘ahu.

I was wondering why there are only county gymnasiums in Kilauea and Kalaheo, but none in Kapa‘a, which is the largest judicial district and the most populated.

I spoke to the following mayoral administrations, starting with Bryan Baptiste, Bernard Carvalho, Lenny Rapozo (director of recreation during Carvalho’s administration), now Derek Kawakami. I’ve also spoken to former Councilmembers JoAnn Yukimura and Mel Rapozo about the possibility of a gym.

An ideal location is the Kapa‘a armory, making this facility for i na keiki and kupuna alike.

It could be used for the following: basketball, volleyball, handball, pickleball, or any other indoor recreation.

It’s much smaller than the other two county gyms. When I first came to Kaua‘i, I joined the Army National Guard, which this facility used for training purposes. There will probably be a need to make some renovations to accommodate the full use of this facility. A new gym would be ideal, but the cost would run into the millions of dollars.

It is such an appropriate location in the Bryan Baptiste Sports Complex, which already has softball, baseball, skateboard, tennis courts already being used.

On weekdays over 100 kids practice there, and on Saturdays the numbers exceed to 300-plus kids. Under undue weather conditions, these i na keiki are not aware of the weather. I know most of the residents, parents, spectators are aware of playing outdoors instead of an indoor gym, which makes a huge difference when playing a basketball game.

I remember being a coach for a Pewee basketball team up in the Wailua Homesteads area, and we practiced and played where the courts were hot, cracked and other obstacles to have to deal with. My three sons and friends liked the game so much they didn’t complain a bit. Melvin Kaohi (Kalaheo) and Jimmy Torio (Kilauea) were fortunate to use the county gyms.

A problem was the police were using the Kapa‘a armory as their substation. They should be in an area where it is safe for them and used for emergency purposes.

I recommend up in the Mahelona Hospital area would be the ideal location for them. I strongly fell that the Kapa‘a armory could be an ideal location for a County of Kaua‘i gymnasium. Name it for the present mayor, whom I think is doing an incredible job throughout the island — especially in the Kealia Beach and Anahola Beach area roadways.

Mahalo for your continued support for the residents of Anahola, Kapa‘a, Kapahi and Wailua areas, whom I think support this proposal of a gym at the Bryan Baptiste Sports Complex!


Pa‘aluhi Gonsalves is a resident of Anahola.

  1. Wailuanuimanokalanipo April 25, 2021 12:17 am Reply

    i get down on my knees, praying your letter rings loud and clear to those certain public employees that make “S%*#t” happen. That they all come together and push to manifest this LONG OVERDUE idea . It would be such a positive impact for the community of all ages. From Keiki to kupuna, To have a place to gather, to get healthy doing healthy things.
    Being a coach for kids 5-18 on the Eastside for the past several years. I can honestly say, Kauai has talented athletic youth, and a gymnasium to play and train in, would take these talented kids, to the next level. And THEY ALL DESERVE THAT OPPURTUNITY….Mahalo Pa’aluhi Gonsalves lets keep stoking this conversation!

  2. RGLadder37 April 25, 2021 6:28 pm Reply

    I’m not sure if any one of these men can bring in the funds for a community gym. Why? They are not well know. In the business community. The people paying the taxes for the public. Business owners.

  3. curious dog April 26, 2021 9:57 am Reply

    Great Idea!!! Please Mayor, get this going!

    I’d personally love to see a county-run, county-wide Memorial Bench program started up.

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