UHWO Cam­pus Com­ing 2012

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - Space -

Dear Friends,

Wow, what a tough ses­sion it was, chas­ing an enor­mous $1.4 bil­lion deficit and mak­ing cuts to govern­ment ser­vices. But there have been bright spots.

Our district got a big in­vest­ment of $201,066,000 in the 2009-2011 state bud­get to help fund im­por­tant school, road and other in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments. We also were able to set aside $67 mil­lion to help re­store the Fri­day fur­loughs at our schools.

Also, a spe­cial con­grat­u­la­tions to Kapolei High School on its 10th an­niver­sary.

UH West Oahu Cam­pus a Go

The best news by far of the 2010 ses­sion is that we were able to se­cure $48 mil­lion in fund­ing for the planned UH West Oahu cam­pus in Kapolei (near Far­ring­ton High­way and Kualaka‘ i Park­way). It was crit­i­cal that we fund the project this year be­cause oth­er­wise the uni­ver­sity could have lost the land.

The James Camp­bell Co. (for­merly James Camp­bell Es­tate) had do­nated 202 acres to the uni­ver­sity, but put in a stip­u­la­tion that the land would re­vert back to them if con­struc­tion on the cam­pus doesn’t be­gin by Dec. 31, 2011. With the fund­ing now se­cure, UH West Oahu will be on track to open Phase 1 of the cam­pus by spring 2012.

The plan is to have an en­roll­ment of roughly 2,750 stu­dents at that point, and the ini­tial build-out would in­clude an ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing, cam­pus cen­ter, li­brary and two class­room build­ings. UH West Oahu will of­fer 22 bach­e­lor de­gree pro­grams, which will in­clude many sub­jects not of­fered at the Manoa cam­pus such as jus­tice ad­min­is­tra­tion, health­care ad­min­is­tra­tion, res­pi­ra­tory care, and com­puter, elec­tron­ics and net­work­ing technology.

A uni­ver­sity cam­pus for West Oahu is greatly needed. Right now, only 21 per­cent of the young peo­ple in the DOE’s Lee­ward District at­tend col­lege, com­pared to the statewide av­er­age of 38 per­cent.

The cam­pus will cre­ate jobs by em­ploy­ing more than 300 peo­ple dur­ing the con­struc­tion phase and an ad­di­tional 1,000 jobs over the next decade. An­other big plus is that it will cut down on rush-hour traf­fic on the H1 by di­rect­ing traf­fic flow away from the down­town area.

Mahalo to chan­cel­lor Gene Awakuni and his team for per­se­ver­ing and my col­leagues at the Leg­is­la­ture for un­der­stand­ing the im­por­tance of pro­vid­ing bet­ter higher-ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties for our com­mu­nity. Lis­ten-Story My next “Lis­ten-Story” com­mu­nity meet­ing will be from 9 to 10 a.m. June 12 at the Kapolei Star­bucks (next to Chevron Sta­tion).

Please con­tact me if I can help you in any way. Call 5866830 or e-mail me at sen­gab­bard@capi­tol.Hawaii.gov.

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