Charter school covered by lava gets help from non profit

Charter school covered by lava gets help from non profit

KAPOHO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Boys & Girls Club of Big Island will welcome 120 students and 25 staff members from Kua O Ka La charter school now that lava covers the Kapoho property.

The non profit Boys & Girls Club, which is struggling for donations itself, will not charge the school any of the estimated $5,000 per month that it could cost to house the students, grades 6 - 12.

"The daily use of toilet paper, hand soap, paper towels, the daily trash and having to remove the additional trash it does come at a cost," says Chad Cabral, CEO of the club, "But their kids are our kids," Cabral says the board of directors and property owners did not hesitate to help.  They'll provide the facilities for the entire school year.

Head of Kua O Ka La, Susie Osborne, is grateful because the facility already has classrooms, a cafeteria, and is ready for the school year, that begins the first full week in August.

The 110 elementary students, will got to Nani Mau Gardens.  The problem with that facility, it needs a lot of work.

"Industrial cleaning, painting inside and out, moving some of their stored items," says Osborne.  Termite work will need to wait until the Christmas break.

Osborne is putting out the call to any companies that can help speed the improvements along as time is running out.

Osborne evacuated the school weeks ago as lava marched toward the property.

She had already lost her home in Leilani Estates.

Osborne gets more emotional talking about the charter school she built about 20 years ago.  The flow that took her school also wiped out Ahalanui warm ponds, a popular swimming spot.

"I've been praying and crying a lot," but Osborne doesn't have time to dwell on the losses, she just keeps working to get ready for the first day of school.

The two facilities are in Hilo, about 20 miles away Pahoa, students will have to be bussed in and out.

Osborne knows both the gardens and the club are not permanent, she'll start looking for a new home for Kua O Ka La after the school year begins.

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