A Wahiawa school celebrates 50 years, and a multi-million dollar makeover

A Wahiawa school celebrates 50 years, and a multi-million dollar makeover

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -A Wahiawa school is celebrating the completion of a $90 million makeover.

1st Sergeant Samuel Solomon Elementary School originally opened on Nov. 11, 1969, Veteran’s Day.

Festivities were held at Schofield Barracks Saturday to celebrate the renovations as well as the campus’ 50th anniversary. There, they honored the namesake of the school.

Samuel Solomon Jr. was a Hawaii-born member of the 25th Infantry Division Wolfhounds.

He was killed in action while carrying wounded men to safety in the Vietnam War. He earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.

“He lived, courage, commitment to community, and I think most importantly, a selfless dedication to the soldiers he fought with,” Gov. Ige who was on hand for the festivities said.

Half a century later, his widow and son took part in the dedication ceremony for the newly renovated campus. It now features 63 classrooms, a student support center, two computer labs and covered playcourt.

“It is very, very emotional to me. And quite an honor. Knowing my husband, he would have been quite honored, he loved children.” Virginia Solomon, Samuel Solomon Jr.'s wife said.

Guests of honor were on hand for special events at the School Saturday.
Guests of honor were on hand for special events at the School Saturday. (Source: HNN)

Construction of the four-building school complex took place in phases to replace the former facilities.

“And now fabulously, in two years which is really unheard of in this state, we have the most innovative, state-of-the-art facility for our kids here in Schofield," the school’s principal Sally Omalza said.

Funding for the project included a federal grant for about $70 million.

The state pitched in nearly $20 million for the remaining 20 percent of the total cost.

“It is extremely important to connect the Army and the state to really better fund and provide better education for all of our families here in Hawaii,” Col. Thomas Barrett Garrison Commander US Army Garrison Hawaii said.

Solomon Elementary is one of two public elementary schools on Schofield Barracks.

It serves more than 750 students from kindergarten through 5th grade.

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