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Maui Prep gym opens March 28

While construction is still underway, Maui Prep’s Bozich Center celebrates its grand open later this month. The Maui News / ROBERT COLLIAS photo

NAPILI — A magic castle is rising on the campus of Maui Preparatory Academy in northwest Maui.

The Bozich Center for Athletics and Performing Arts will celebrate its grand opening on March 28. The opening of the $5 million facility will mark a major turning point for the school that opened in 2005.

While the gymnasium will serve as the practice and game facility for Maui Prep’s boys basketball and girls volleyball teams, it will serve many more purposes.

The school’s first prom will be held in the facility May 2.

“To use an old cliche: ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ “ Maui Prep Head of School Robert Landau said Monday. “It takes a huge number of volunteers to raise a building like this that’s going to benefit our entire village, our entire West Maui community. This Bozich Center is going to be one of the crown jewels of West Maui that is accessible to our entire community.

The signage for the school logo is lifted by a crane before being attached to the side of the building. The Maui News / ROBERT COLLIAS photo

“You’re going to be looking at all kinds of incredible events. You know, history is going to be made here. For every group that comes in here, organizes a play, or a tournament, or a meeting, this is going to be the center point.”

School Principal Ryan Kirkham is the girls volleyball coach. He has had to hold practices on the beach in years past because of the lack of gym space.

“I can’t overstate it enough how excited we are to be in the gym for volleyball,” Kirkham said. “We’ve been practicing in the Napili wind and rain for the last many years. Some years, we had some practices on the beach. We had the Lahaina Civic Center for many years as well, but that slowly got booked up. So, it’s going to be just great to have our own facility.”

Lahainaluna Athletic Director Scott Soldwisch, the Maui Interscholastic League basketball coordinator, has told Maui Prep AD Keenan Reader that Na Pueo will host the MIL boys Division II tournament next year. Maui Prep also has put in a bid to host the MIL girls D-II volleyball tournament soon.

“This is the opportunity to take Maui Prep athletics to the next level in the MIL,” Reader said. “The last few years we’ve become quite competitive in all of our sports, but this will give us the opportunity to really compete at the highest level in the MIL. So, I’m really excited.

Maui Preparatory Academy’s Harrison Cramond drives past St. Anthony’s Kaimana Baker in a Feb. 7 game at the Bozich Center on the MPA campus. Ray Chin photo

“Ryan and I both being here as founding faculty members from 2005, and really starting our athletic program, the two of us, this is just a dream come true. Mainly, it’s a dream come true for the kids–for them to have the opportunity to play in a facility like this, it’s pretty incredible.”

The building will be for more than just sports.

“Our performing arts teacher here has been putting on plays in tents, in hotel ballrooms, in open air,” Landau said. “Rehearsal is done in a small space, and now our stage is going to be one of the highlights in West Maui.”

Landau added that the gym space is valuable for everyone.

“This center is not just for Maui Prep. This is for the community,” he said. “There’s going to be community rental opportunities, this will be an emergency center, shelter,” he said. “As you know, the Lahaina Civic Center sent 250 people away at our last event, so we will be a shelter.”

The opening night is a fundraiser for the gym, which has been built completely on donations. Tickets run from $120 to $1,000 for VIP seating, all of the ticket prices are tax deductible.

Two-time “America’s Got Talent” winner Shin Lim, a magician, will be performing on the stage.

The evening “is going to be an exciting night for West Maui,” said Erica Goldsmith, co-chair of the opening night festivities and the president of the Parent Teacher Student Organization for the school. “Guests will get to fully enjoy what Maui Prep has to offer. The evening will begin with a dining experience on the school’s ocean view campus complete with dinner catered by FOND and an intimate luau performance by Na Pua O Kapiolani comprised of Maui Prep students, faculty and parents.”

The evening will conclude with a performance by the Maui Prep band before Lim’s performance. Wilmont Kahaialii will bless the building. 

“VIP ticket holders will experience Shin Lim’s up-close sleight of hand magic from the first three rows and have the opportunity to meet the celebrity firsthand at a VIP party at FOND,” Goldsmith added.

Dinner is at 4 p.m., the blessing is set for 6 and the show will begin at 7.

To purchase tickets to the March 28 event, go to website eventbrite.com and search “Maui Preparatory Academy” or email advancement@maui prep.com or call 808-665-9966, ext. 307.

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

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