New School Helps Growing Community

Principal Eileen Hirota
Principal Eileen Hirota

EWA BEACH (KHNL)- The Ewa Beach community is constantly growing, with new homes going up, and families moving in. That leads to problems of overcrowding, on the roads and in the schools. A new school is helping.

Keoneula Elementary opened about a week ago. It's built on 12-acres of land donated by Haseko, the developer building the Ocean Pointe homes nearby.

"We have a state of the art school with a very progressive curriculum," said Keoneula principal Eileen Hirota.

The school features a wide open campus, an art and science center, and separate computer labs.

"It's awesome," said Sharla Anderson. "They have the opportunity for something new out here in Ewa Beach."

Students also love the new campus, but for a different reason.

"I like it cause it has air conditioning and in Ewa Beach it was really hot," said Aaron Ortogero.

The 500 students enjoying this new campus suffered for months, packing Ewa Beach Elementary.

"We had 800 plus students at that school and it gets very crowded when you have that many students," said Hirota.

Enrollment at Keoneula keeps growing, because of the expanding Ewa Beach community. But parents moving in feel that the school is ready.

"It's big, it's spaced out," said Natasha Hubbard, who has one daughter enrolled at the new school. "We feel that the students are not gonna get cramped in there. They're not just holed up in one room."

"Ewa Beach hasn't been high on the places to live, or places to go, or place to be, so it's up and coming," said Anderson.

Keoneula is built to handle 725 students. It can handle up to a thousand by adding portable units. Administrators say the school can also move to a multi-track schedule, to handle the growing enrollment.