Cool Schools: Hawaii Preparatory Academy

HONOLULU, Oahu (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Preparatory Academy calls Waimea, on the island of Hawaii, home. Their new multi-award winning Energy Lab is the first building in Hawai'i to achieve LEED Platinum certification under the LEED for Schools 2.0 rating system. Recently they completed the Living Building Challenge audit and received certification for the Energy Lab.

The Living Building Challenge criteria exceed LEED Platinum certification. They are the first K-12 school in the world to have achieved Living Building Challenge certification and the third project in the world to be fully certified.

Also featured this morning Franz "Dick" Solmssen started HPA's horse program with eight horses, which he bought at Parker Ranch auctions, shortly after he arrived on campus as a young teacher in 1957. Although he retired from the classroom in 2010 (a 53-year tenure!), Solmssen continues to run the equestrian program, which now includes about 30 horses.

The equestrian program is available to every student at the school, regardless of expertise or experience. The equestrian program is a full-time sports commitment at HPA and students participate Monday through Thursday afternoons during the regular sports period. The students take their animals to the polo field, where they perform various dressage exercises and get the horses warmed up for jumping the cross-country course or for a trail ride above the school. The school hosts an equestrian competition each year for riders from around the state; the Thirty-Fifth Annual HPA Horse Show Hunter Trials took place on May 8.

Click HERE for a link to HPA's official website.

Click HERE to connect with HPA on Facebook.

Click HERE to connect with Malika Dudley on Facebook.