KS shared news about the project with the region’s business community at a recent Kapolei Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Above, sitting (l-r): James Campbell Company VP of Development Steve Kelly, State Representative Stacelynn Eli, Nānākuli Hawaiian Homestead Community Association members Nālani Beniona and Kamaki Kanahele, KS Wai‘anae Regional Director Kalei Kaʻilihiwa, and KS Wai‘anae Region Project Manager Kimmie Timson. Standing (l-r): State Senator Maile Shimabukuro, KS Wai‘anae Region Facilities Manager DeJa Nickle, Kiewit Building Group COO Tom Broderick, Kiewit Senior Project Manager Lani Smithson, KS Sr. Capital Program Manager Gary Nishioku, GD Designs President Glenn Yokotake, KS Sr. Planner Scott Abrigo, GD Designs Designer and Planner Jennah Coltrain, AIO Digital Director Jared Kuroiwa, Library Creative Principal Chase Conching, KS Sr. Project Manager Healiʻi Heine, and DOE Nānākuli & Waiʻanae Complex Superintendent Ann Mahi.
Kamehameha Schools (KS) and the State Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) have fully executed the ground lease for the future site of the Agnes Kalaniho‘okahā Cope Community Learning Center (KCLC) in Nānākuli. Kiewit Building Group was selected to design and construct the learning center, providing a single source of accountability for the success of the project.
The learning center is named for and honors the legacy of the late Dr. Agnes Kalaniho‘okahā Cope – known fondly by many as “Aunty Aggie” – a longtime Nānākuli resident and champion for Native Hawaiian health, education, culture and the arts.
“Working together with DHHL, we are making major progress toward our commitment to the Nānākuli Hawaiian homestead community and the rest of the Wai‘anae Coast,” said KS Wai‘anae Coast Regional Director Kalei Ka‘ilihiwa. “Solidifying these community partnerships means we can now move full steam ahead. E holomua kākou!”
The Wai‘anae Coast Region is home to the third largest concentration of Native Hawaiians in the state with upwards of 28,000, including nearly 10,000 in Nānākuli alone. KCLC will serve as a gathering place for learning with an emphasis on health, education and ‘āina.
DHHL is equally dedicated to the mission of the center.
“We are proud to work with Kamehameha Schools through this ground lease,” said Peter “Kahana” Albinio, acting administrator of DHHL’s Land Management Division. “We fully support the establishment of this learning center and hope that it serves to perpetuate the legacy of Auntie Aggie’s service to the lāhui.”
KS shared news about the project and its selection of local company Kiewit with the region’s business community at a recent Kapolei Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
“It was important to us to find a firm that had a strong commitment to working with community members and Kamehameha Schools. After all, this is a ‘community’ learning center,” Ka‘ilihiwa said.
KS will invest $10.9 million in the construction of the 6,800-square-foot learning center at the three-acre site, with a groundbreaking scheduled for 2019. KCLC is slated to open to the public by the summer of 2020.
Cope was a founder of the community-owned and -driven Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center and also served as board chair for Native Hawaiian health organizations Papa Ola Lōkahi and Ke Ola Mamo.
“With the lease secured and design-build contractor identified, we are focusing our conversations with the communities of Nānākuli and Wai‘anae on creating meaningful learning opportunities for keiki, kūpuna and everyone in between,” Ka‘ilihiwa said.