Church celebration moves out of auditorium it helped to fix - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Church celebration moves out of auditorium it helped to fix

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Plastic orange netting now surrounds Joseph Rider Farrington Community Auditorium, keeping people away from the building a day after its roof collapsed during a heavy downpour. And it marks how close you'll be able to get to the auditorium for the foreseeable future.

New Hope Christian Fellowship has used the auditorium for its weekend services for several years. The church says the auditorium was closed and condemned when it came in.

"It was unusable. It was infested," said New Hope founder and senior pastor Wayne Cordeiro. "So we cleaned it up, did some reconstruction, re-wired, brought in electricians, and made it useable as best we could. It's an old auditorium."

According to Cordeiro, New Hope has put in a lot of money over the years to maintain and improve the facility. Cordeiro also said the church had put in money to fix a major leak in the roof when it first came to Farrington.

"In in-kind donations, we have donated just over $1 million to the school," said Cordeiro. "In fact, we just put in $110,000 re-doing all the seats in the auditorium. That is now gone."

Earlier this year, New Hope told Hawaii News Now that it pays $200,000 a year in rent and $50,000 a month in utilities at Farrington. They make a $24,000 donation every year for the school to use as it chooses.  They have also changed the once-condemned auditorium to be state of the art and had planned to add $300,000 in upgrades to the sound and lighting system.

Meanwhile, an army of volunteers was setting up and cleaning nearly 600 chairs in the high school gym, where Farrington High School administrators said services could be held this weekend.

"They're allowing us to use the gymnasium temporarily. But after that, we'll have to punt," said Cordeiro. 

"Everything you see here came out of our warehouse and out of our trucks," said John Tilton, New Hope Oahu executive pastor. "A lot of our church lives in the trucks."

It's a big operation that came together quickly, mainly because it's been done before.

"Eighteen years ago we started just like this in different schools, Stevenson (Middle School), University of Hawaii, and this is what we did every single week for many, many years," Tilton said.

And it may have to be done that way for quite some time. The debris poses an additional danger in that it may have exposed asbestos and lead paint -- hazardous materials and were common at the time the building was constructed.

The Department of Education has said that all events scheduled for the auditorium have been cancelled until new places can be found to hold them.

Previous Story: No injuries as roof collapses at Farrington High

Related Slideshow: Farrington High School Auditorium's Roof Collapses


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