Draft EIS issued for new Lahainaluna building

A new $12 million two-story classroom building at Lahainaluna High School is expected to be ready for the 2020-21 school year, according to a draft environmental impact statement for the project.

The new building with a total of 18,500 square feet of space will have seven general classrooms, which can fit 20 to 25 students, and a self-contained special education room for 10 to 15 students, as well as restrooms, a faculty center, conference room, electrical room and janitor’s closet, according to the draft report filed Sept. 27.

The project also includes an elevator and accessible walkway over the dry Lahainaluna Ditch to connect the building to the rest of the campus to the east.

The building will be air conditioned but ceiling fans and windows that can open could allow natural ventilation in lieu of air conditioning, the draft report said.

It will be built on the northern side of the campus next to Building D, four portable buildings and the C.A. McDonald Building. The new building is slated to replace Building D, which will be demolished in the future, according to the draft report, which appeared in Sunday’s “The Environmental Notice” published by the state Office of Environmental Quality.

The reason for the new building is to accommodate future enrollment growth at the only public high school on the west side, the draft report said. The school, with a history dating back to 1831, currently has a capacity of 1,400 students. This school year, there are 1,020 students attending — 920 regular and 100 special education students — the state Department of Education reported.

The state land use boundary for the 52-acre school is urban; community plan designation, public/quasi public; and zoning, interim, the draft report said. The use of state lands and funds is the trigger for the environmental assessment.

The Department of Education, which also is the determining agency, said it anticipates a finding of no significant impact. Work is expected to begin next year with completion in 2020. It is expected to take 12 to 18 months to build.

Comments are being accepted on the project until Nov. 7 and may be sent to the state Department of Education, Janna Mihara, Project Coordinator, Facilities Development Branch, 3633 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96816. Her phone number is (808) 377-8314 and her email is janna_mihara@notes.K12.hi.us.

* Lee Imada can be reached at leeimada@mauinews.com.