In face of opposition, BOE shelves plans to move Kaahumanu Elementary

Updated: Jan. 16, 2020 at 6:29 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kaahumanu Elementary School isn’t going anywhere.

The state Board of Education Thursday rejected a proposal to move the school from Kinau Street to new facilities that would be built on the 46-acre campus of nearby McKinley High School.

The current 4-acre elementary school campus would then have been available for commercial purposes, such as teacher housing.

The proposal to move the school was part of the Department of Education’s plans to redevelop underused properties to generate revenue and create 21st century schools.

Many families came out against the idea, and were opposed to having young children sharing a campus with teenagers.

“It’s an important piece of the community for those 500 students, and more importantly the families, that go there,” said BOE member Bruce Voss.

“Including Kaahumanu as one of the possible sites would just create a distraction, and the board has no intention at this time of closing any schools," Voss added. "We want to focus on the purpose of the act, which is to take underutilized land, and turn them into 21st century schools.”

The board did approve looking at rebuilding Kaimuki High School.

“Kaimuki High School is simply a better opportunity to do that," said Voss. "There’s 30 acres. You can create a 21st century school. Possibly co-locate a charter school. Maybe do some teacher affordable housing, other benefits.”

The possible rebuilding at Kaimuki High still needs community input and other requirements. It will still be another 12 to 18 months before any decision is made on moving forward.

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