UH facing multi-million dollar backlog on repairs

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - From old elevators that need constant upkeep to aged cooling units that feed antiquated air conditioning systems, University of Hawaii at Manoa is millions of dollars deep in a repair and maintenance backlog.

"We need approximately between $170 million to nearly $200 million for the campus," said David Haffner, assistant vice chancellor for campus services.

Haffner said UH needs "consistent funding" over the next six years to eliminate the R and M backlog.

An energy efficient infrastructure tops the list of must-have's.

Most of the air conditioning units were installed in the 1970's and they're worn from constant use.

"We have a harsher environment here and we also run our air conditioning equipment essentially every day of the year and often 24 hours a day because we're doing research," Haffner said.

Prior R and M money bought new AC units for a few of the buildings. They operate on less cooling water when the outside temperature drops.

At Sakamaki Hall, everything from light fixtures to air conditioned classrooms have been redone.

Another building on campus has a photovoltaic array.

But many other things need major work, from sidewalks to Gartley Hall that was condemned because of structural damage

The message to lawmakers?

"I would encourage them to consider adequate funding on a steady state basis going forward in the future so that we can do the best job possible," Haffner said.

The repair and maintenance backlog for the statewide UH system totals $334 million.

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