Community watches anxiously as lava closes in on Puna charter sc - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

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Community watches anxiously as lava closes in on Puna charter school

The Kua O Ka La Public Charter school appears poised to be the next building destroyed in Pele's path. (Image: Mick Kalber/Tropical Visions Video) The Kua O Ka La Public Charter school appears poised to be the next building destroyed in Pele's path. (Image: Mick Kalber/Tropical Visions Video)
Fissures 8 and 22 continue producing lava contributing to flows in Kapoho. (Image: Mick Kalber/Tropical Visions Video) Fissures 8 and 22 continue producing lava contributing to flows in Kapoho. (Image: Mick Kalber/Tropical Visions Video)
KAPOHO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Instead of focusing on lesson plans, the head of a Puna charter school is wondering what the future holds as lava closes in on the Kua O Ka La campus. 

Lava flows from fissures 8 and 22 continue to pump lava in Puna, claiming several homes in Kapoho, and Susie Osbourne, the founder of Kua O Ka La Public Charter School, fears her school may be next.

"I have not slept very much. I am very, very concerned for sure. It is just beyond my imagination," Osbourne said.

On Sunday morning, Osbourne heard the bad news that her school was at risk from people like Mick Kalber, a Big Island photographer, who had flown over the ocean entry and saw the flow moving toward her school, as well as the Ahalanui Warm Pond. 

"It could get there today, maybe not today, but tomorrow would be a good guess. Possibly the day after," said Kalber who believes pictures he took Sunday show lava moving over the 1955 flow.

"That's above the school and the hot ponds, so once it gets to a certain point it will go down hill," Kalber said. "There is just no way to tell how much it has got behind it. It's not racing down there, it's not terribly active but it is active," Kalber said.

In the meantime, Osbourne is working to secure space for middle and  high school students at the Hilo Boys and Girls Club. Elementary classes will be held at a facility at Nani Mau Botanical Garden.

"We built the school from scratch, so it is a devastating moment," Osbourne said. "We have just been assuring our families that Kua O Ka La will be open next year."

"The challenge is negotiating that lease and getting the facility up to par because it is pretty run down," Osbourne said.

A GoFundMe account has been setup to help Kua O Ka La renovate their new classroom.

This story may be updated.

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