Unknown costs make dorm rehab a bad idea
The June 8th Maui News article shows the folly of leaping before looking; all in the name of appearing to do something. The need for affordable housing on Maui is extreme and I very much applaud both the council and administration for making it a priority. But that doesn’t justify spending untold millions on only 12 units before knowing if the old UH-Maui dorms are structurally sound enough to be rehabilitated and how much it will really cost.
As stated in the article, the UH-Maui dorms: 1. have been vacant (i.e., left to rot) since 2008; 2. have not been assessed for structural viability; and, 3. have an unknown total cost for rehabilitation. Additionally, the article states the Arakawa administration did an inspection and found leaks, mold, poorly repaired fixtures, foundation cracks, termite damage and asbestos flooring/shingles. None of this indicates it is cost-effective to rehabilitate the old dorms.
No sane person would commit to something in this manner. Get the facts first, then make a decision. The council and administration should use the money wisely to help the most people rather than trying to generate “feel good” headlines.