Funds to aid renovation of dorms

The state has released $3.5 million to renovate University of Hawaii Maui College student housing and transform the former Hale Haumana into the Hospitality Academy of Maui, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Saturday.

“The university has partnered with local resorts to convert these four deteriorated wooded buildings into a hands-on learning laboratory for students to manage and operate a hotel operation with real public guests and resort-level rooms,” Abercrombie said. “Once complete, revenue generated from this ‘teaching hotel’ will support the operation of this unique, real-world classroom.”

The state funding will be used to reroof buildings, renovate walls, windows, plumbing and electrical systems, and provide for new floors, air conditioning and lighting. Island resorts have agreed to provide furniture for rooms.

The academy is part of the UH-Maui College’s Hospitality and Tourism Program. The college’s chancellor will be responsible for the overall management and operation of the project. The tourism program coordinator will oversee daily operations and serve as the hotel’s manager.