Kapolei Court Com­plex Will Open Soon

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - Front Page - By ALANA FOLEN

Wa­ianae District Court and Kaahu­manu Hale, the court­house that houses both cir­cuit and fam­ily court court­rooms and offices in Honolulu, are re­lo­cat­ing to Kapolei this month.

The Wa­ianae Court is set to open Mon­day (March 22), and the Fam­ily Court opens March 29.

“The ju­di­ciary be­lieves that the cre­ation of a full ju­di­ciary com­plex at Kapolei — which ini­tially will con­tain a Fam­ily Court Cen­ter, a ju­ve­nile de­ten­tion cen­ter, a ru­ral district court, and which can be ex­panded later to in­clude cir­cuit court ser­vices— will ben­e­fit not only the de­vel­op­ing Ewa/Kapolei re­gion, but also the en­tire Oahu pop­u­lace,” said Mar­sha Kita­gawa, pub­lic af­fairs of­fi­cer for the Hawaii State Ju­di­ciary.

“The need for ad­e­quate space to meet the de­mands of Oahu res­i­dents for fam­ily court ser­vices can­not be over­stated,” she added, not­ing that cur­rently, the fam­ily court court­rooms in town are too small to ad­e­quately con­duct hear­ings and pro­vide safe and se­cure sep­a­ra­tion of par­ties in an of­ten-

emo­tional set­ting.

“ Fre­quently,” Kita­gawa ex­plained, “those who should be phys­i­cally sep­a­rated, such as vic­tims and crim­i­nal de­fen­dants or emo­tion­ally charged par­ties in di­vorce or cus­tody pro­ceed­ings, find them­selves in very close quar­ters. Sup­port ser­vices ar­eas are crowded with far too lit­tle space for records stor­age, and crowded offices ham­per ef­fi­cient op­er­a­tions.”

Ar­chi­tects Hawaii Ltd. de­signed the com­plex to: strike a bal­ance be­tween the dig­nity of the ju­di­cial sys­tem and the open­ness nec­es­sary for fam­ily court; cre­ate a func­tional and flex­i­ble com­plex based on the users’ needs; and re­flect Hawai­ian val­ues, cul­ture and his­tory as well as the West Oahu lo­ca­tion with a mod­ern em­pha­sis.

“The peo­ple who will work in it told us what works, what doesn’t and what they wanted,” ex­plained prin­ci­pal ar­chi­tect David By­lund. “Court­houses, in par­tic­u­lar, do not see many ca­sual en­coun­ters. It is a highly charged, emo­tional en­vi­ron­ment, and we wanted each de­sign el­e­ment to sup­port the bal­ance be­tween the for­mal­ity of the ju­di­cial sys­tem and the fa­mil­iar­ity de­signed for chil­dren and fam­i­lies.”

A three-part cir­cu­la­tion sys­tem al­lows judges, staff, de­tainees and the pub­lic to move sep­a­rately with pri­vacy and se­cu­rity.

“The court­room de­sign en­sures that judges can clearly see the faces of the peo­ple whose sit­u­a­tions they are con­sid­er­ing,” added By­lund, “and the ceil­ing de­sign, with its lights in a cir­cle, is a gen­tle re­minder of the Hawai­ian custom of ho‘opono­pono (right­ing a wrong through group ef­fort).”

As part of the Art in Pub­lic Places Pro­gram, the State of Hawaii Foun­da­tion on Cul­ture and the Arts held a com­pe­ti­tion last year to com­mis­sion lo­cal artists for the more unique el­e­ments of the com­plex. Artist Doug Young drew in­spi­ra­tion from nearby Ani­aniku Beach to cre­ate pat­terns that re­sem­ble wa­ter pat­terns in the build­ing’s five multi-story win­dows, while sculp­tor Le­land Miyano pro­vided two stone sculp­tures for the court­yard that re­flect the du­al­is­tic na­ture of Hawai­ian cos­mol­ogy.

“The art­work is in­tended to sup­port the hope that fam­ily prob­lems will be re­solved in a pos­i­tive way. It evokes a sense of place that res­i­dents can re­late to,” said Peter Rosegg, SFCA com­mis­sion- er and chair­man of the Art in Pub­lic Places Com­mit­tee.

The de­signer also in­cluded kapa-in­spired re­liefs on the build­ing’s ex­te­rior to rep­re­sent the an­cient Hawai­ian ahupua‘a sus­tain­abil­ity sys­tem and the con­stel­la­tions used for nav­i­gat­ing the oceans, in turn link­ing fam­ily, com­mu­nity and cos­mic laws of heaven.

“It’s a mes­mer­iz­ing work that helps ful­fill our goal of pro­vid­ing a pow­er­ful seren­ity amid the stress­ful court­house ac­tiv­ity,” By­lund said.

Kita­gawa also be­lieves the new com­plex will con­tinue to have a pos­i­tive ef­fect on traf­fic and mon­e­tary con­cerns, as the re­lo­ca­tion to Kapolei will help to re­lieve the over­crowded H-1 com­mute to down­town Honolulu and will save ap­prox­i­mately half a mil­lion dol­lars in rent that cur­rently is be­ing paid to house fam­ily court func­tions at other lo­ca­tions, in ad­di­tion to the $8,250 a month in rent for the Wa­ianae fa­cil­ity.

The 123,118-square-foot court build­ing, lo­cated at 4675 Kapolei Park­way, is four sto­ries tall and fea­tures 12 non-jury court­rooms and one jury court­room. The park­ing com­plex also will in­clude 212 pub­lic stalls (11 of which are hand­i­cap-ac­ces­si­ble) and 182 em­ployee park­ing stalls.

The 10.97 acres of land on which the com­plex sits was do­nated to the state by the Es­tate of James Camp­bell.

“Given the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate, the avail­abil­ity of land at Kapolei for lit­tle or no cost to the state was an at­trac­tive and rare op­por­tu­nity, and the most pru­dent and ad­van­ta­geous use of what, even un­der or­di­nary cir­cum­stances, is a scarce and costly re­source,” said Kita­gawa.

“The Kapolei Court com­plex will un­doubt­edly in­crease the con­ve­nience for the res­i­dents of West Oahu, and neigh­bor­ing res­i­dents will have eas­ier ac­cess to court ser­vices such as ob­tain­ing traf­fic ab­stracts, pay­ing traf­fic tick­ets, re­solv­ing di­vorce mat­ters, fil­ing for re­strain­ing or­ders and deal­ing with ju­ve­nile mat­ters.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, call 539-4629.

Kimo Purdy and Mike Rice make a mad dash to stop traf­fic along Fort Bar­rette Road in time for Hawai­ian Rail­way So­ci­ety’s reg­u­lar Sun­day af­ter­noon run, led by en­gi­neer Louis Hopf (stand­ing, far left). Photo by By­ron Lee, by­ron­lee@mid­week.com.

Construction wraps up this month on the long-awaited Kapolei Court Com­plex, which houses the First Cir­cuit Fam­ily Court, Wa­ianae District Court and a ju­ve­nile de­ten­tion cen­ter. Judges and staff should move into their new offices over the next few weeks. Photo cour­tesy Ar­chi­tects Hawaii Ltd.

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