Months after historic flood, east Honolulu school celebrates a 'rebirth'

Months after historic flood, east Honolulu school celebrates a 'rebirth'

AINA HAINA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On the first day back to school for Honolulu Waldorf School, teachers and more than 40 high school students gathered on school's oceanfront property to celebrate a new day — and a renovated school.

"It's so great. We've been calling it sort of a rebirth," said art teacher Lynn Liverton.

"I'm astonished. It's amazing what's they've done. Honestly, it looks like nothing has happened," said 9th grader Kanani Packer.

Four months ago, nearly a foot of water and 2 inches of mud covered the first floor of the school.

Instruments and student artwork were lost during the historic April floods.

"It was really disastrous. It was such a mess and so many things were just sitting in thick, thick, thick mud," said Liverton.

Over the summer, teachers and some student volunteers worked to rebuild and completed most of the work just in time for Monday's reopening.

"We had to break down things that got rotten and didn't work anymore and we also did some painting," said Packer.

Waldorf leaders say FEMA told them to start preparing now for future flooding and there are several things they could do to mitigate that including replacing louvers with sliding glass windows.

"We got the impression that there are likely to be more floods in the future. It's going to be sort of normal and that we should try to do whatever mitigation that we can," said Bonnie Ozaki-James, high school faculty chair.

New flooring still needs to be installed in the auditorium and the school hopes to have most of the fixes done by next week.

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