By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
HONOLULU (AP) - The nonprofit company trying to build the Thirty Meter Telescope is continuing with its pledge to donate $1 million annually for educating students on Hawaii Island, where the project is planned.
Telescope officials promised the $1 million for every year of the 19-year Mauna Kea sublease- as long as the observatory is in operation or under construction. However, the project remains stalled amid intense opposition and a state Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the construction permit.
Despite the project's limbo, $2 million has been given to Hawaii Community Foundation and Pauahi Foundation, which award grants and scholarships.
Project spokeswoman Sandra Dawson said Friday it was the right thing to do. She couldn't say what will happen to the fund if the telescope can't be built in Hawaii.