New Paia Elementary building up for environmental review

Structure would be located at the front of the school next to the cafeteria

The state Department of Education is planning a new two-story, eight-classroom building on this spot at Paia Elementary School. This photo was taken Friday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

The Maui News

The state Department of Education is proposing a new building for English and Hawaiian Language Immersion Program students at Paia Elementary School.

The two-story, eight-classroom building also would include space for a computer resource, media and video classroom; special education classes; faculty center; restrooms; and support areas. The school’s administration office would relocate to a ground-level space.

A draft environmental assessment for the project was published in the March 8 edition of the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s “The Environmental Notice.”

The building would be located at the front of the school next to the cafeteria on what is currently an open lawn used for volleyball. Its ground floor would be 9,828 square feet, with the second floor taking up 9,320 square feet.

A covered bus stop in the area would be demolished and replaced with a new covered bus stop integrated with the new building.

Parking would get an upgrade as well — a nine-stall parking lot next to the site would be reconfigured to provide 10 stalls, and an area currently used for overflow parking would be improved to accommodate up to 32 vehicles.

The project also would include the addition of an individual wastewater system on a section of lawn west of the building. The system would feature a 7,000-gallon septic tank and two micro-chamber leaching fields of about 2,268 square feet each.

Construction costs are estimated at $13 million and would come from the department’s capital improvements program. Only design funds currently are available for the project; a construction schedule would be developed at a later time, according to the draft assessment.

Paia School originally opened at a different location in Lower Paia in 1881; the school moved to its current location at 955 Baldwin Ave. in 1909.

The Hawaiian Language Immersion Program was introduced into the school’s curriculum in 1988. It was the first immersion program on Maui that taught classes in Hawaiian language for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, according to the draft assessment.

Paia Elementary has an enrollment of 440 students from prekindergarten to 5th grade, according to the DOE’s 2018-19 academic year figures.

Comments on the project are due by April 8. Contact by mail is the state Department of Education, Office of School Facilities and Support Services, Facilities Development Branch, 3633 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96816.

Arnold Fukunaga is the project manager. He can be reached at the same mailing address, by phone at (808) 784-5110 or email at Arnold_Fukunaga@notes.k12hi.us.

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