Honolulu preschool granted more time to relocate as city garage renovations continue

The lease for Seagull Schools Early Learning Center was supposed to end in August, but now Mayor Rick Blangiardi says it’s been extended to February.
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 4:43 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 22, 2022 at 5:12 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The lease for Seagull Schools Early Learning Center was supposed to end in August. But now, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi says it’s been extended to February.

“This is actually a good news story,” said Blangiardi.

The school is located above the Civic Center parking garage near Frank Fasi Municipal Building.

“We are just really really pleased that we are working together to not only extend the lease, but search for a new home,” said Megan McCorriston, Seagull Schools CEO.

The school has been above the garage for 36 years and 30% of its 220 families are city employees.

But the dilapidated parking garage has water damage, deteriorating rebar and flooding. Some concrete pieces have fallen on to cars. The city recently notified the school that its lease would in August, which sent parents scrambling to find an alternative option.

“To have this news thrust upon them about the lease ending so suddenly was really unfortunate, but I think everyone wants to focus on moving ahead,” said McCorriston.

Blangiardi blames miscommunication.

“What we realized very quickly in those efforts was that we failed to communicate with the school, how upsetting it would be to the school and its parents from the stand point of timelines and what we were proposing,” said Blangiardi.

He says now all parties are working together. Repairs had been estimated to cost $40 million. Blangiardi says it’s necessary, but the structure is still safe.

“If this were that circumstance, we would order an evacuation. That’s not the case. This is long overdue,” said Blangiardi.

Seagull Schools is looking for alternative sites and says the extra time to search for a new home is a major relief.

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