Hawaii County wants to work with community to fix Kona gymnasium

Hawaii county wants to work with community to fix Kona gymnasium
Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 10:02 AM HST|Updated: Jun. 3, 2023 at 7:49 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After Kona community members rallied to raise money to fix their neighborhood gym, Hawaii County officials say they’re onboard to help make that happen.

The Kekuaokalani gym has been the topic of discussion after the announcement of a GoFundMe and basketball tournament to help fix what the community thought was a leaking roof.

In reality, the cause of the wet floors in the gym is the bye product of the Central Kona environment.

“the humidity down in, in south, in that part of Kona in central Kona causes the floors to, to get moist.” County of Hawaii Public Information Officer Cyrus Johnasen told Hawaii News Now. “That creates slipping hazards and unsafe environments for our keiki.”

The county has been aware of the gym’s much needed repairs with Hawaii Mayor Mitch Roth approving an approximate $3.5 million parks maintenance budget this year.

“What we’re seeing is a commitment to that investment in those parks facilities.” Johnasen said. “We know that in central Kona our keiki, you know, the park and the gym there is really a community hub.”

However, there are alternatives in the meantime.

“Growing up on Hawaii Island and playing basketball in my youth as my passion, we played in many different venues from Konawaena gymnasium, Kealakehe gymnasium.” Johnasen said. “So there are options, but you know, to say that’s sufficient or to say that that folks should have to travel an hour outside of Kona to be able to play volleyball or basketball or pickle ball nowadays, that’s a far fetch.”

The county is looking forward to working with the community towards a common goal.

“We jump at the opportunity to work with great community leaders like Nakoa (Pabre) and others who bring these issues to our attention, you know, and the good thing is it’s not just about one basketball team, it’s not just about one cheer squad, one volleyball team.” Johnasen said. “It’s about everybody being able to use that gym in that facility.”

The county currently has no specific plan for the gym.