6 years after work began, locker room at Kalihi school still not finished

6 years after work began, locker room at Kalihi school still not finished
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

KALIHI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Construction on Kalakaua Middle School's new locker room started six years ago, and was supposed to have been done by the start of the 2013 school year.

It's still not finished.

State Sen. Glenn Wakai, whose district includes Kalihi, said he was astonished to find out about the years-long delay during a recent campus visit.

"I was totally disappointed that it was being unused," said Wakai, who was told that students can't use the new locker room and showers for physical education classes.

Kalakaua Middle on Kalihi Street has 1,004 students in sixth through eighth grade.

Theresa Cummings has two grandkids at Kalakaua Middle. She said the delay is outrageous.

"My grandchildren told me that they were going to have new PE room. But I thought they were already using it," she said. "I don't think the community knows about this. And if they did they'd be coming out."The delay is the result of construction problems, including issues with the new tile and roofing.

Last year, the state Department of Education terminated its contract with Paramount Builders for failure to meet the project's requirements.The building cost taxpayers $355,000 to design and more than $2 million to build.

The DOE has withheld $155,000 payment to Paramount Builders because of the problems.

The DOE can't comment on the project because the matter might wind up in court. Insurance will pay for the locker room to be completed, and the department hopes to have it ready by August 1.

"It's just unfortunate that we have a contractor that went out of business and isn't living up to his contract," Wakai said.

"You're only a seventh-grader once. You're only an eighth-grader once. We've had a cycle of kids that have come through Kalakaua Middle School that have never stepped foot in that locker room. That is a shame."

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