City allows preschool atop deteriorating parking structure to stay put for a year
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Seagull Schools’ Early Learning Center in Downtown Honolulu was set to close in February after the city revealed the parking structure it was built on is crumbling.
But on Tuesday morning, Mayor Rick Blangiardi granted a year-long reprieve.
He also promised extra inspections to ensure the safety of students and teachers over the next 12 months.
“We’re just thrilled to announce to families we can give them that school year uninterrupted,” said school President and CEO Megan McCorriston.
Now, parents won’t have to worry about transferring their kids mid-year. The school enrolls about 220 children.
“Right now we feel very safe about the next year,” said Blangiardi.
Engineers say decades of water damage is deteriorating the underground parking structure the school was built on.
“We don’t think there’s any threat of collapse right now,” Blangiardi said.
Once the next school year wraps up, McCorriston said, “We hope for a seamless transition where we can move the children out after that August deadline here in 2023 to the new location.”
Just a few steps away, space will be made for temporary classrooms inside the city’s Mission Memorial Building the Municipal Reference Center. Meanwhile, repairs to the parking structure and construction of a new school will be completed.
Altogether, the project is estimated to take two and a half years.
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