Major upgrade plans for McKinley High School

Published: Sep. 10, 2008 at 1:52 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 10, 2008 at 7:52 AM HST
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Neal Takamori
Neal Takamori
Bob Morikuni
Bob Morikuni
Shakti Folger
Shakti Folger

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

KAKAAKO (KHNL) - One of the nation's oldest schools may have a multi-million dollar upgrade in store, as school leaders push to build a state of the art sports complex on its property.

McKinley High School has plans to build a multi-use sports complex estimated to be the size of nearly 10 football fields on its property, it's a big collaboration with the community that the school hopes pays off for everyone.

For the McKinley tiger football team, practice makes perfect. In a world where strategy means success, the school is taking aim at building a brand new multi-use sports complex.

It will include up to 1,200 parking stalls on campus, additional classrooms, and will also be funded by public and private organizations.

"Right now we're lacking and anything that we can do to help our students and our school in terms of redevelopment and refurbishing what we already have is a benefit for everybody," said Athletic Director Neal Takamori.

"I think it's a very positive thing for the community for the school and the students," said Teacher Bob Morikuni.

Estimated at nearly 60-million dollars, this is the site of the proposed complex project. As McKinley's current facilities age, administrators say it's list of needs is getting wider and wider.

Some fear the plan may put sports ahead of students.

"Most of the teachers here are concerned about taking care of the campus as it is already before we go ahead and extend any other plans," said Teacher Shakti Folger.

Teachers say the classrooms are deteriorating and the project includes no plans to put the music department anywhere.

"If everything was considered and taken care of first, then I think they'd be more than happy to have more area for the kids," said Folger.

Once completed, it's a project the school hopes lets the community and students put their best foot forward. The Ala Moana Neighborhood Board favors the project and says it's a longtime wish of the Kakaako community.

While still in preliminary stages, the school hopes to break ground in two years with plans to have full usage of the complex by 2012.