UH Hoping for New and Improved Facilities

Senator Norman Sakamoto
Senator Norman Sakamoto
Senator Roz Baker
Senator Roz Baker

MANOA (KHNL) -- A new head football coach, and many on the UH Manoa campus are hoping for new and improved facilities.

This after lawmakers got a tour of some of the less-than-ideal conditions of the Athletics Department.

On this first day of the new legislative session, the mood was jubilant and optimistic.

Lawmakers thanked the UH football team for giving Hawaii national recognition.

Now they want to help the team and the rest of the campus by flexing their legislative arm.

A day of jubilant optimism at the State Capitol as the Warrior Football team and its new head coach were treated like brand new rock stars.

But waiting for them at the Manoa campus are old, run-down facilities.

"To us, we've all worked with what we have, so we've made it happen already," said UH football player Austin Hansen.  "Without having great facilities, but it's important as we move forward, to take it to the next level."

After lawmakers got a tour of the campus last week, many pledged to make UH improvements a high priority.

And they're not just looking at the Athletics Department.

"We also want to have good learning environments for the athletes and other students at the university," said Senator Roz Baker.  "And some of the facilities are dire in my view."

Torn carpets and missing ceiling tiles are just some of the problems.

"You look at the electrical outlets, and it's all rusted and corroded, and you wonder, this is a higher education institution," said Senator Norman Sakamoto.  "We just need to do better."

The Warriors' new head coach Greg McMackin hopes lawmakers keep the momentum going.

"Anything they can do for players, now's the time to do it because we're riding pretty high right now and we can keep going," said McMackin.

Lawmakers hope to make some headway by working with the university.

"So we're going to assess how we can best assist the university, not only cut through their repair and maintenance backlog but help them with their other facilities challenges as well," said Senator Baker.

A challenge that's had many people waiting for a long time.

"Standing in line, saying wait your turn," said Senator Sakamoto. "Some people have been in line too long."

Lawmakers say one thing they hope to do soon, is to build a brand new building on campus to house various programs and people while improvements are made.