Vandals take action at Wailupe school while city ponders plans
Wailupe Valley School has been sitting vacant for the past six months, falling victim to minor vegetation overgrowth, vandalism and overall neglect, and East Oahu residents want to know: What’s next for the campus’s empty shell?
Crews painted over graffiti on the walls, windows and doors Dec. 2 after what city officials believe were Thanksgiving weekend acts of vandals. Regular inspections and maintenance began July 1, the city said, when the property reverted back to the city from the state. At the last inspection, in mid-November, they saw no graffiti.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann said the city is still discussing what to do with the old buildings, but it’s hired private security in the meantime and has stepped up police patrols to prevent further damage. The 51-year-old school was shut down following the 2008-2009 school year, and students were sent to nearby Aina Haina Elementary School for fall semester.
City Councilman Charles Djou (Hawaii Kai to Ala Moana) said the city had known that Wailupe Valley School was shutting down for more than a year before it closed its doors for good. He urged the city to work faster to come up with a future plan.
“The city has a responsibility to take care of its properties in a neighborhood,” Djou said.“The administration has simply botched its most basic duties to the public here.”
Options discussed include the installation of a Board of Water Supply storage tank or offices for the city Department of Parks and Recreation. Soil testing is planned to determine whether the water tank proposal is feasible.
For more information, call Djou at 768-5004 or visit www.honolulu.gov.