Maui Prep facility closer to reality

Maui Preparatory Academy’s principal Ryan Kirkham (left), head of school Robert Landau and grant coordinator Jenny Worth stand near the site of the school’s first gymnasium/performing arts center that is set to break ground on March 1, 2019. The Maui News / ROBERT COLLIAS photo

LAHAINA — Gym space is hard to come by on Maui, especially for private schools that don’t have their own facility.

Maui Preparatory Academy is well into a fundraising campaign to solve that problem on its West Maui campus.

With more than $1 million of the $3.5 million goal in hand, MPA officially announced its “Give A Little Aloha” Capital Campaign to fund the school’s first “Center for Athletics and Performing Arts” recently.

Naming rights have already been sold to the gym that is set to be located on a small plot near the entrance to the school that opened in 2005 on land donated by Maui Land and Pineapple Co. in 2001.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for March 1, 2019 and the construction is slated to be done Nov. 1, 2019.

Maui Preparatory Academy has more than $1 million raised of its $3.5 million goal for new athletics and performing arts facility. The Maui News / ROBERT COLLIAS photo

“We right now have raised roughly a third before we started our capital campaign,” said Jim Bozich, the campaign chair and a board of trustee member for the school. “We’re in the design elements and ready to go for permitting.”

Principal Ryan Kirkham smiled when asked about the location of the facility.

“It’s been kind of funny — I think that this facility has bounced around our campus master plan over the years,” Kirkham said. “I was looking at our very first brochure that came out in 2005 as a school. Everything was conceptual, conceptual drawings, and this exact place was where the gym and performing arts center was slated to be.”

There have been efforts to get the project started over the years, but “this is the most tangible, it’s-going-to-happen-this-time experience that we’ve had. We’ve had dreams here and there, but this is where it’s actually going to happen.”

Kirkham said the school has needed the facility for some time.

Rendering of Maui Preparatory Academy’s future athletics and performing arts facility. MAUI PREPARATORY ACADEMY photo

“Incredibly excited,” he said. “Seeing this school grow and develop from the beginning, this is the next step. In many ways, it’s the validation of our school and of our organization.”

Na Pueo teams, especially sports like volleyball to basketball, have had to search for and borrowed gym space from the beginning. Girls volleyball often has to practice on the beach.

“We’ve depended on the good graces of our fellow schools in the (Maui Interscholastic League), of the Lahaina Civic Center and we’re so incredibly grateful and thankful for those opportunities,” Kirkham said. “But it is going to be just a wonderful addition to our school having a facility like this on our property.

“Yes, it gives us absolute freedom. Gym space in West Maui is so tight. This will allow us to do things that we’ve never been able to do and really in many ways pursue excellence in athletics and performing arts.”

Robert Landau, the new head of school, quickly added: “It’s even bigger than that. We now get to be a full-fledged member of the community.”

The facility will include two regulation basketball courts, two regulation volleyball courts, a performing arts stage, physical education classroom, a dance/yoga/music studio, athletic training facility, home and away locker rooms, bleachers with a capacity of 300, offices for the athletic director and coaches, men’s and women’s bathrooms, and a demonstration kitchen.

“Our ability to share, to collaborate, to invite, the opportunity to work with schools that don’t have a facility and invite them in for a basketball game — it might be a school that’s not even in our league — now we get to be not just a good neighbor, but a great neighbor,” Landau said. “We get to invite schools here that have never set foot on our campus. We, at Maui Prep don’t want to be the school that sits here. We want to be a great neighbor not just in our neighborhood, but across the island and across the state.”

Naming rights to the gym and a statue have already been sold, but the school is still accepting donations — at undisclosed “market price” amounts — for the performing arts stage, basketball court, roof, demonstration kitchen, scoreboard, lobby and walk of fame.

Naming rights to either the home or away bleachers, outdoor seating area, AD’s office, health classroom, yoga/music/dance room, and training room are all available for $25,000 each. Locker rooms or bathrooms can be named for $10,000, while eight benches and flag pole are going for $5,000 apiece.

Donors who give $500 or more will get their names engraved on a paving tile in front of the facility.

For donation opportunities, call 808-665-9966, ext. 113, or email

* Robert Collias is at