State offers first look at its $40M vertical school of the (near) future

Updated: Jun. 2, 2017 at 4:16 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

KAKAAKO (HawaiiNewsNow) - The school of the future could be in an apartment building.

That was the state Department of Education's message Friday as it showed off what its first "vertical school" will look like.

The $40 million school will go up in Kakaako, adjacent to Mother Waldron Park.

Initial plans released Friday show how the school will be incorporated into an affordable housing complex set to be built at 690 Pohukaina St.

The campus is being built in partnership with Alakai Development.

"It'll be a new school with new configuration, much more open space," said Kathryn Matayoshi, outside schools superintendent.

Added Jon Wallenstrom of Alakai Development, "People will be able to live here, walk downstairs, go to school, take their kids."

The school will serve about 750 students in kindergarten to sixth grade.

The complex will have two towers, and the campus is poised to occupy the first four floors.

Wallenstrom said one of the towers will be more affordable, and the second will be for "workforce housing." They'll all be rentals.

Lawmakers have already earmarked $16 million for planning, design work and initial construction costs for the school.

"We all know that expenses are just rising when it comes to building new facilities," Matayoshi said. "So the better use we can make of the land we can access for a school the better."

Construction is set to begin in 2019.

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