West side school expands facilities

Doubling of enrollment in preschool means new early childhood center; campus also adds innovation space

Maui Preparatory Academy Grant Coordinator Jenny Worth (left) talks with groundskeeper Daniel Dominguez on the Napili campus recently. Next month, the private school will welcome two new spaces for students. It’s part of a three-year plan to expand the campus as enrollment increases. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

With enrollments climbing at Maui Preparatory Academy, including the more than doubling of its preschool enrollment, the private school in Napili is growing with two new facilities expected to be completed by the start of the new school year next month.

An Early Childhood Discovery Center for preschoolers and additional space for a Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for all students are set to open on the first day of school Aug. 13.

These projects are the first in a series slated to take place on the campus over the next three years, said Head of School Jonathan Silver. The school was founded in 2005 on 22 acres of old pineapple fields, but only 7 acres currently are being used, according to the school website.

“With these new facilities and enhanced programs, this is truly a great time to be a student at Maui Prep,” he added.

In school year 2016-17, enrollment at the preschool-to-12th-grade school was 210; it grew to 230 last school year, said Andrew O’Riordan, admissions coordinator.

Work at Maui Preparatory Academy goes on through summer break. When students return to school next month, they will see new features, including more space for preschoolers and a Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Its preschool student enrollment has more than doubled from 17 in 2016-17 to 39 signed up for this coming school year. The school attributes the growth to flexible attendance options for parents, including two- and three-day options in addition to the standard five-day-a-week program.

Jenny Worth, grant coordinator for Maui Prep, added that there currently is a waitlist of up to 12 students for this coming school year.

To accommodate the growth, the school needed to expand.

The $78,124 preschool discovery center includes additional space and new bathrooms specifically sized for toddlers. The Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation and the Bozich Ohana helped fund the facility.

Also added to the school’s E-building will be a 992-square foot “idea incubation space.” The facility will be part of a campuswide initiative to expand creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship programs, giving students the opportunity to learn and engage in problem-solving and hands-on innovation, the school said.

The cost of the project is $245,616, which has been funded by the Fred Baldwin Memorial Foundation, Atherton Foundation, Central Pacific Bank, Graham Family Foundation, First Hawaiian Bank Foundation, Bozich Ohana and Maui Prep parents, according to a news release.

In the future, the school plans to construct an athletic and performing arts center, upgrade its playground, and create additional classroom space.

Another area of growth can be found in its international boarding program, said Worth. Students from grades 7 to 12 from Asia, Europe, South America, North America and Africa have joined the school for studies between six weeks to five years, O’Riordan said. There even are some Maui boarding students.

The school did not have boarding student numbers available Monday.

Students live in a four-story beachside dormitory located 3 miles from the school. The program was started in 2012, O’Riordan said.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.