• Utility service upgrades are underway outside of Hale Kula Elementary School. When school ends May 24, the first phase of a three-year construction program, funded at $33.2 million, will begin at the school. (Photo has been altered from its original form to create a collage.)

    New digs

    Utility service upgrades are underway outside of Hale Kula Elementary School. When school ends May 24, the first phase of a three-year construction program, funded at $33.2 million, will begin at the school. (Photo has been altered from its original...

  • A new library-media center (above) along with a new classroom building and new covered playcourt will give Hale Kula a new look.

    Library-media center

    A new library-media center (above) along with a new classroom building and new covered playcourt will give Hale Kula a new look.

DOD approves $26.5 M grant for expansion, update of school at Schofield Barracks site

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- The Department of Defense announced, March 7, a grant from the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) for $26,560,000 to the Hawaii Department of Education for the renovation and expansion of Hale Kula Elementary School, here.

The renovation project includes a new two-story, 10-classroom building, Library/Student Services Building, Administration Building and a covered playcourt.

Construction is scheduled to begin this summer and will be done in phases to ensure that students will not be displaced or relocated to other schools during this period.

The Hawaii Department of Education will manage the $33,200,000 project consisting of $26,560,000 in grant funds and a non-federal share of $6,640,000 in matching funds to renovate and expand the school, which serves 970 students in grades pre-kindergarten through fifth.

"This is an amazing opportunity for Hale Kula Elementary to provide upgraded facilities for Hale Kula students," said Cherise Imai, DOE military liaison, who worked with Hale Kula and U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii to get the proposal and application submitted to OEA.

In 2011, Congress approved to distribute $250 million "to make grants, conclude cooperative agreements or supplement other federal funds to construct, renovate, repair or expand elementary and secondary public schools on military installations … in order to address capacity or facility condition facilities at such schools."

The grant process requires a 20 percent non-federal (local school district) contribution. Hale Kula Elementary School was listed as #9 on the priority list. A multidisciplined federal evaluation team, with membership from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, the military services, the U.S. DOE and the OEA reviewed the school projects to ensure the awards appropriately address the noted capacity and facility condition deficiencies.

"This grant submittal was made possible because of the collaboration of the Hawaii Department of Education, the USAG-HI and the Office of Economic Adjustment. It took a tremendous effort, and we are looking forward to the construction phase of this project," Imai said.

The remaining unobligated funds previously appropriated for this program to assist other local education agencies in addressing the most serious capacity or facility condition deficiencies at public schools located on military installations will be subjected to the March 1 sequestration order.

(Editor's note: News releases from both the U.S. Department of Defense and the Hawaii Department of Education were used in the assembling of this story)

Page last updated Mon March 18th, 2013 at 15:25