Kaneohe Residents Concerned About Planned Pre-school - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kaneohe Residents Concerned About Planned Pre-school

Charlene Hoe Charlene Hoe
Drew Jernigan Drew Jernigan
Hector Morales Hector Morales
Triangle Park at the end of Haiku Road in Kaneohe Triangle Park at the end of Haiku Road in Kaneohe
Modular classrooms serve as a temporary pre-school located mauka of Windward Mall Modular classrooms serve as a temporary pre-school located mauka of Windward Mall

KANEOHE, Oahu (KHNL) - Kamehameha Schools says it found the perfect place for a new pre-school on Oahu's windward side. But many who live in the area are saying "not in my neighborhood". They're just worried if Kamehameha is given the okay to build, it will drastically change the look of their neighborhood.

Kamehemeha Schools owns the two-acre parcel at the end of Haiku Road, known as Triangle Park. Right now, there's nothing there, except a big empty field and no trespassing signs.

Kamehameha Schools wants to put a pre-school there, using modular buildings. It says it searched up and down the coast, and found the park was the perfect spot to invite Native Hawaiian children to start their education.

"You look for something that's quiet, that's home-like, that's residential-like, that has greenness around it, and that's surroundings are conducive to outdoor play and that kind of activity" said Charlene Hoe of Kamehameha Schools.

The new preschool should look something like the one now near Windward Mall, featuring modular buildings.

Kamehameha's lease there expires next fall, so it's been scouring the windward side for a new site.

"We don't mind not being able to go on that land, but we do want to keep our green space. we don't want any kind of development on that land. We want it to remain as it is, with the beautiful trees, and the green space and the view of the Koolaus" said Haiku resident Drew Jernigan.

Kamehemeha owns the park, but it needs approval from the city council to have it re-zoned from preservation to residential for a school there.

"They can literally bring that school in here. Temporary school. Temporary building. Put it up in here. Two years later, move it outta here. Sell the land to a developer and put more houses in here" said resident Hector Morales.

"There is absolutely no plans to turn that into housing. The dedication to education is genuine and we see it as being long term" said Hoe.

The City Council's zoning committee heard arguments today. It decided to defer making a decision, and let the city's lawyers look into it. The committee is expected to discuss it again next month.

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