Plans underway to merge HPU campuses - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Plans underway to merge HPU campuses

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HPU Director of Strategic Communications Richard Rapoza (Image: Hawaii News Now) HPU Director of Strategic Communications Richard Rapoza (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HPU student Michelle Britt (Image: Hawaii News Now) HPU student Michelle Britt (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HPU student Anna Thuen (Image: Hawaii News Now) HPU student Anna Thuen (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaii Pacific University's Hawaii Loa campus has been located in the heart of Kaneohe for the past 45 years, but soon, plans could have faculty and students saying goodbye to all that the 135-acre campus has to offer.

The lush greenery and dramatic views of the Ko'olau mountains  attract students world-wide to HPU's Hawaii Loa campus. After all, it convinced Michelle Britt to make the move from Ohio.

"It's really beautiful," Britt said. "I didn't check the school out, I just came here based on the photos."

The private, non-profit university operates from its Windward location and also in downtown at several buildings, including Aloha Tower Marketplace, which the school bought in 2013. Plans are moving forward to consolidate the two sites into a single urban campus.

"Refurbishing the Hawaii Loa campus turned out to be a very expensive proposition," said Richard Rapoza, HPU director of strategic communications. "It was well over $100 million to bring it completely up to current standards."

Most students we spoke with aren't sitting too well with the idea.

"This is just such a beautiful part of Hawaii and without this, I feel downtown would just overload you with the stresses, the business and quickness and this just slows you down," said HPU student Anna Thuen.

Other students are excited to have everything in one place.

"It is difficult to have a unified campus and a unified university if we have two separate campuses and you don't see a lot of the students from Hawaii Loa down here and vice versa," said Britt.

So what will happen to the 135-acre Hawaii Loa property? That is yet to be determined but Rapoza says one thing's for sure, you won't see a mall, condominiums or a resort built in its place. 
    
"We've been there for a long time," said Rapoza. "We care for that land so we want to make sure it's used in a way that's responsible for the community."

Discussions are ongoing and transitioning away from the Hawaii Loa campus won't take place for at least another 3 years. 

Currently, there are 5,625 undergraduates and 1,116 graduate students enrolled at HPU.

Copyright 2016 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly