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Friday, August 27, 1999




Photo Illustration by Bryant Fukutomi, Star-Bulletin
Farrington High School's swimming pool has been repaired,
but the pool, showers and connected facilities are closed
until all can be renovated.



State: Repairing
schools will cost
$241 million

About one-third of all public
schools need more than
$1 million for fixes

Part One: Where the money goes

By Crystal Kua
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

The unpatched cracks in the sidewalks at Kaewai Elementary School in Kalihi remind state Rep. Dennis Arakaki of how repairs at schools in that area tend to fall through the cracks.

Arakaki said, "If their (students') school isn't getting attention, you can't expect them to have pride in their school."

Kaewai Elementary is one of several schools in Kalihi with $1 million-plus in back repairs, according to a list compiled by the department responsible for maintaining Hawaii's public schools. Kaewai's total is $1.9 million.

According to the list of pending major repair and maintenance projects kept by the Department of Accounting and General Services, about one-third of all public schools in the state have more than $1 million in back repairs. It totals $241 million in projects.

Arakaki (D, Kalihi Valley) and others believe that socioeconomic conditions play a role in why Kalihi schools are often forgotten.

The older schools just happen to be in the inner city where many low-income and immigrant families live. An additional factor is that the departments of Education and Accounting and General Services don't have the financial resources to retrofit or repair.

"When you put all those factors together, you have schools deteriorating," Arakaki said.

"The parents as a whole ... they don't complain a lot. They are sort of satisfied with what they have or don't know the process on how to get these issues resolved."

Arakaki said because many of these parents are in the lower-income bracket, they are busy trying to earn money, making it difficult to get them to attend PTA meetings or organize them for fund raising.

"Poor schools are not getting money," said Rep. Bob McDermott (R, Aliamanu, Foster Village). "Those are the kids who can't afford private school and we send them to hot schools with no air conditioning."

Radford High School, which brought attention to repair and maintenance issues in the spring, ranked 11th in a list of 20 schools in the state with the highest dollar amounts of repair and maintenance projects.

More with less

McDermott, whose district includes Radford, said he is not surprised by Radford's ranking. But he believes the Department of Education is trying to do more with less and that lawmakers need to come up with more funds.

Some officials say "pork," money lawmakers direct to their own districts, plays a role in how some schools receive funding.

Many lawmakers get funding for projects through bills for special appropriations.

The DAGS repair and maintenance list also shows:

Bullet All but a handful of public high schools have more than $1 million in pending repair and maintenance projects, some with a multimillion-dollar backlog. The 10 schools with the biggest backlog are high schools or schools with a high school on campus.
Bullet The statewide amount of pending repair and maintenance per student comes to $1,288.
Bullet Although the Maui School District ranks fifth in enrollment out of the seven school districts, it ranks third in overall dollar amounts for pending projects and second in the per student dollar amount of backlog.

Setting priorities

James Richardson, DAGS's Central Services Division chief, said the backlog is a compilation of unfunded major projects submitted by schools or DAGS inspectors.

The list sets the priority for funding for the next six years.

Projects with the highest priority are those that deal with health or safety issues such as upgrading a fire alarm system or termite treatment, he said. Although DAGS makes suggestions on which items should be handled first, Richardson said the schools have the final say over what they want done.

Each year, after the Legislature decides how much operating funds to allot for school repairs, the amount is divided among the school districts through a formula that looks at factors including the number of schools in a district, a school's age and enrollment.

This year, seven school districts will divide $9 million in major repair and maintenance funds. But the Honolulu district alone has $67 million in pending repairs.

Aging school buildings and a lack of funding are the main reasons given for the amount of backlog statewide.

Richardson said high schools are expected to have more backlog than intermediate or elementary schools because high school students are much harder on the facilities and the schools are much bigger. High schools with multimillion dollars worth of backlog appear to be older schools, he said.

The Honolulu School District had the highest dollar amount in the state, but that's expected because Honolulu has the most schools and some of the oldest schools in the state, officials said.

But to some it was a surprise to see a number of Maui schools with multimillion-dollar repair and maintenance projects pending. Maui's $37.9 million backlog total puts it in third place among the seven school districts, surpassed only by urban Honolulu and Central Oahu Districts. Its enrollment, however, is about three-fifths of those areas.

Old schools

Maui Deputy District Superintendent Elizabeth Hoxie said she believes the age of its buildings is the main reason why the backlog list shows the Maui School District -- which include Molokai and Lanai -- with a high dollar amount.

She pointed to Lahainaluna -- the oldest American school west of the Rockies with a building erected in 1928 still being used -- receiving attention recently for being the only school in the state to be rated unacceptable in the school inspection program.

"They are just in need of constant care," Hoxie said.

But others offered other possible reasons for Maui's situation.

"I think they're harder to reach," said Lester Chuck, Department of Education facilities chief.

Lanai High and Elementary School Principal Pierce Myers said the remoteness of Maui District schools -- such as Lanai's, the schools on Molokai and those in Hana -- can make for highcosts.

Exception to rule

Don't use age as an excuse when talking to Herbert Watanabe.

"I'm aware that of all the schools in the state, I think we on the Big Island have the best-kept schools," said Watanabe, a retired Department of Education business specialist from the Big Island who is now on the Board of Education. "We could not let it rot away in hopes of getting money for new schools."

Compared with Maui, the Big Island has more schools and higher student enrollment. Watanabe said the Big Island also has more older wooden buildings to upkeep than elsewhere in the state.

Chuck said the Big Island School District has a reputation for having well-kept buildings.

The numbers bear that out: The Big Island's per student dollar amount of pending repair and maintenance projects is $1,168, below the statewide number, and no Big Island school made the top 20 list.

State Rep. Dwight Takamine (D, North Hilo, Hamakua) said he also knows of the reputation of Big Island schools and that their philosophy -- keeping up with maintenance -- is something the rest of the state should look at.



By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Head custodian Raymond Belaski looks over a drain
that was built to relieve the flooding near the administration
building at Manana Elementary School in Pearl City.



Manana school
makes comeback

By Crystal Kua
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

A dust bowl and mud pit became a paved parking lot.

Balding patches of eroding red dirt have been transformed into a green play field.

Classrooms that once flooded in heavy rains are now high and dry.

The transformation of Manana Elementary in Pearl City since 1991 has shown that schools can improve their buildings and grounds even in tough economic times by using volunteer help and staying on top of maintenance.

"It's the little things," Principal Candace Yamauchi said.

The school has found ways to get things done without having to wait for funding, Yamauchi said.

This philosophy has carried the school from an unacceptable rating of 6, the lowest possible score, during the 1991-92 school year to a perfect score of 18 this past year in the Department of Education school inspection program.

"What I see is an effort to look to the school like their home," said state Rep. Noboru Yonamine, (D, Pearl City Highlands), who was on the school inspection team that gave Manana the high marks.

Yonamine was also on the inspection team that gave Manana low marks a few years ago, and he sees much improvement today.

"The maintenance crew is very much in touch with the situation," Yonamine said. "You can see the landscaped campus. On the inside of the classroom, teachers are very diligent about keeping it clean. Equipment is in good condition, the classroom is warm and shows a lot of work and care."

Yonamine also credited Yamauchi for getting projects done around the campus despite the money crunch.

Yamauchi is quick to give credit to the school's staff, including custodians, who have been on top of maintenance projects.

"On (the) repair and maintenance list for work orders, schools always have to stand in line," Yonamine said. "But on the other hand, you can't wait too long."

Sen. Andrew Levin (D, Kau, South Kona) said some inspection teams may feel pressure to give their schools favorable ratings even though the condition at the school may not warrant the marks.

"It's really counterproductive," said Levin, co-chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Radford High School parents lamented that the school inspection program did not accurately pick up deficiencies that independent inspectors discovered.

But in its ninth year, the inspection program, which uses volunteer community inspectors, accurately reflected the progress Manana made.

Health and safety were concerns with the vacant lot that staff once used for parking.

Nearby residents used to complain about the red dust that cars kicked up. On rainy days, the lot would turn into a mud bog, which was also a health concern. A paved parking lot solved that problem.

A Boy Scout troop hoping to do a good deed installed an irrigation system to help the school solve an erosion problem at one of its playgrounds.

The school also has received assistance from the military in painting projects.

Runoff during heavy rains caused classrooms to flood at times, but a simple and relatively inexpensive drainage solution helped fix that.

State Sen. Carol Fukunaga (D, Makiki, Tantalus), co-chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said a partnership with business or other groups is one way financially strapped schools can get help. The Legislature could assist by finding ways or incentives to make it easier for schools and community groups to link up, she said.

Tapa

The top 20

The following are the 20 Hawaii public schools with the highest dollar amounts of back repairs.

			Amount of	Number of	Repairs/
 	School 		 repairs	students	student	
 
1. Farrington High 	$10,108,000	2,500		$4,043
2. Baldwin High 	9,131,488	1,721		5,305
3. Leilehua High 	4,056,000	1,878		2,160
4. Lahainaluna High 	3,979,445	892		4,461
5. Kailua High 		3,913,000	1,075		3,640
6. Lanai High/Elem 	3,884,298 	683 		5,687
7. Kaimuki High 	3,786,000 	1,505 		2,516
8. Castle High 		3,684,000 	1,951 		1,888
9. McKinley High 	3,056,000 	2,008 		1,521
10. Maui High 		3,052,396 	1,656 		1,843
11. Radford High 	2,769,000 	1,410 		1,964
12. Molokai High 	2,469,826 	833 		2,964
13. Dole Middle 	2,422,000 	808 		2,998
14. Roosevelt High 	2,339,864 	1,532 		1,527
15. Kahuku High 	2,194,000 	1,912 		1,147
16. Kalani High 	2,120,000 	1,216 		1,743
17. Scott Elementary 	2,104,000 	688 		3,058
18. Pearl City High 	2,042,000 	2,182 		936
19. Aiea High 		1,948,000 	1,425 		1,367
20. Kamehameha III Elem 1,918,600 	657 		2,920

Source: Department of Accounting and General Services.

Repairs by school

School -- Number of projects -- Amount

Honolulu District I

Aina Haina  -- 44  -- $847,000
Ala Wai  -- 43  -- 1,090,000
Aliiolani  -- 24  -- 616,000
Anuenue  -- 18  -- 319,000
Honolulu District Office --  11  -- 228,000
Hahaione  -- 43  -- 711,000
Hawaii School for the 
Deaf and Blind  -- 30  -- 874,000
Hokulani  -- 29  -- 627,000
Jarrett Middle  -- 30  -- 842,000
Jefferson  -- 25  -- 790,000
Kahala  -- 44  -- 1,032,000
Kaimuki High  -- 101  -- 3,786,000
Kaimuki Middle  -- 51  -- 1,508,000
Kaiser High  -- 42  -- 1,111,000
Kalani High  -- 73  -- 2,120,000
Kamiloiki  -- 15  -- 283,000
Koko Head  -- 51  -- 1,084,000
Kuhio  -- 30  -- 624,792
Liholiho  -- 9  -- 296,000
Liliuokalani  -- 26  -- 766,000
Lunalilo  -- 14  -- 498,000
Manoa  -- 47  -- 1,068,000
Niu Valley Middle  -- 75  -- 1,612,000
Noelani  -- 21  -- 670,000
Palolo  -- 26  -- 634,000
Waialae  -- 18  -- 556,000
Waikiki  -- 21  -- 627,000
Wailupe Valley  -- 8  -- 126,000
Washington Middle  -- 42  -- 1,203,000
Wilson  -- 34  -- 656,000

Honolulu District II

Central Middle  -- 47  -- 1,087,000
Dole Middle  -- 75  -- 2,422,000
Farrington High  -- 192  -- 10,108,000
Fern  -- 21  -- 418,000
Kaahumanu  -- 24  -- 659,000
Kaewai  -- 61  -- 1,914,000
Kaiulani  -- 25  -- 1,111,000
Kalakaua Middle  -- 65  -- 1,543,000
Kalihi  -- 46  -- 1,884,000
Kalihi Kai  -- 59  -- 1,359,000
Kalihi Uka  -- 19  -- 681,000
Kalihi Waena  -- 47  -- 1,117,000
Kapalama  -- 33  -- 889,000
Kauluwela  -- 21  -- 368,000
Kawananakoa Middle  -- 45  -- 1,704,000
Lanakila  -- 40  -- 1,134,000
Likelike  -- 9  -- 107,000
Linapuni  -- 11  -- 171,000 
Lincoln  -- 52  -- 1,525,000
Linekona  -- 2  -- 87,000
Maemae  -- 44  -- 1,056,000
McKinley High  -- 90  -- 3,056,000
Nuuanu  -- 77  -- 1,075,000
Pauoa  -- 16  -- 269,000
Puuhale  -- 18  -- 415,000
Roosevelt  -- 54  -- 2,339,864
Royal School  -- 16  -- 388,000
Stevenson Middle  -- 34  -- 1,529,000

Central District

Aiea  -- 27  -- 673,000
Aiea High  -- 41  -- 1,948,000
Aiea Inter.  -- 18  -- 604,000
Aliamanu  -- 47  -- 959,000
Aliamanu Inter.  -- 39  -- 836,000
Hale Kula  -- 55  -- 1,347,000
Haleiwa  -- 38  -- 1,151,000
Helemano  -- 25  -- 495,000
Hickam  -- 47  -- 1,233,000
Iliahi  -- 20  -- 686,000
Kaala  -- 39  -- 699,000
Kipapa  -- 48  -- 768,000
Leilehua  -- 113  -- 4,056,000
Makalapa  -- 20  -- 384,729
Mililani High  -- 28  -- 761,000
Mililani Mauka  -- 8  -- 131,000
Mililani Uka  -- 77  -- 744,000
Mililani Waena  -- 29  -- 446,000
Moanalua  -- 46  -- 747,000
Moanalua High  -- 63  -- 1,450,000
Moanalua Inter.  -- 16  -- 299,000
Mokulele  -- 15  -- 311,000
Nimitz  -- 17  -- 634,000
Pearl Harbor  -- 63  -- 1,598,000
Pearl Harbor Kai  -- 17  -- 423,000
Pearl Ridge  -- 16  -- 314,000
Radford High  -- 80  -- 2,769,000
Red Hill  -- 21  -- 584,000
Salt Lake  -- 20  -- 601,000
Scott  -- 46  -- 2,104,000
Shafter  -- 18  -- 378,000
Solomon  -- 34  -- 341,000
Wahiawa  -- 23  -- 402,841
Wahiawa Inter.  -- 55  -- 1,523,000
Waialua  -- 37  -- 487,000
Waialua High & Inter  -- 29  -- 1,370,000
Waimalu  -- 50  -- 1,218,000
Webling  -- 15  -- 485,000
Wheeler  -- 47  -- 1,169,000
Wheeler Inter  -- 18  -- 887,000

Leeward District

August Ahrens  -- 73  -- 1,507,000
Barbers Point  -- 31  -- 661,000
Campbell High  -- 33  -- 1,590,000
Ewa  -- 24  -- 593,000
Ewa Beach  -- 30  -- 835,000
Highlands Inter.  -- 57  -- 1,003,000
Holomua  -- 6  -- 154,000
Honowai  -- 39  -- 756,000
Ilima Inter  -- 39  -- 988,000
Iroquois Point  -- 54  -- 715,000
Kaimiloa  -- 9  -- 67,000
Kaleiopuu  -- 7  -- 188,000
Kamaile  -- 9  -- 200,000
Kanoelani  -- 33  -- 625,000
Kapolei  -- 4  -- 28,000
Leeward District Office  -- 1 -- 40,000
Lehua  -- 14  -- 506,000
Leihoku  -- 46  -- 653,000
Maili  -- 46  -- 843,000
Makaha  -- 52  -- 1,145,000
Makakilo  -- 23  -- 598,000
Manana  -- 18  -- 325,000
Mauka Lani  -- 30  -- 205,000
Momilani  -- 9  -- 103,000
Nanaikapono  -- 102  -- 1,276,000
Nanakuli  -- 13  -- 322,000
Nanakuli High & Inter.  -- 30  -- 1,215,000
Palisades  -- 15  -- 509,000
Pearl City  -- 41  -- 1,119,000
Pearl City High  -- 45  -- 2,042,000
Pearl City Highlands  -- 16  -- 487,000
Pohakea  -- 29  -- 573,000
Waianae  -- 53  -- 890,000
Waianae High  -- 72  -- 1,327,000
Waianae Inter.  -- 31  -- 940,000
Waiau  -- 27  -- 420,000
Waipahu Elementary  -- 34  -- 682,000
Waipahu High  -- 84  -- 1,421,000
Waipahu Inter.  -- 22 -- 668,000

Windward District

Ahuimanu  -- 13  -- 235,000
Aikahi  -- 24  -- 603,000
Castle High  -- 140  -- 3,684,000
Windward District Office  -- 1 -- 25,000
Enchanted Lake  -- 31  -- 647,000
Hauula  -- 55  -- 893,469
Heeia  -- 26  -- 552,000
Kaaawa  -- 14  -- 101,000
Kaelepulu  -- 10  -- 185,000
Kahaluu  -- 19  -- 579,000
Kahuku  -- 8  -- 248,000
Kahuku High/Inter.  -- 95  -- 2,194,000
Kailua  -- 71  -- 1,049,000
Kailua High  -- 123  -- 3,913,000
Kailua Inter.  -- 38  -- 1,296,000
Kainalu  -- 91  -- 1,342,000
Kalaheo High  -- 60  -- 1,786,000
Kaneohe  -- 48  -- 876,000
Kapunahala  -- 22  -- 525,000
Keolu  -- 19  -- 348,000
King Inter.  -- 66  -- 1,572,000
Laie  -- 61  -- 1,092,000
Lanikai  -- 13  -- 197,000
Maunawili  -- 52  -- 1,085,000
Mokapu  -- 76  -- 1,516,000
Olomana  -- 31  -- 366,000
Parker  -- 36  -- 935,167
Pope  -- 22  -- 619,000
Puohala  -- 30  -- 515,000
Sunset Beach  -- 34  -- 241,000
Waiahole  -- 30  -- 478,000
Waimanalo El & Inter.  -- 38  -- 1,034,000

Hawaii Island District

DeSilva  -- 31  -- 776,000
DOE Annex Hilo  -- 12  -- 312,000
DOE Annex Kona  -- 1  -- 25,000
Haaheo  -- 6  -- 122,000
Hakalau  -- 4  -- 88,000
Halaula  -- 11  -- 279,000
Hilo High  -- 48  -- 1,854,380
Hilo Inter.  -- 36  -- 1,696,000
Hilo Union  -- 39  -- 1,426,000
Holualoa  -- 13  -- 211,000
Honaunau  -- 31  -- 484,000
Honokaa  -- 39  -- 817,000
Honokaa High/Ele  -- 9  -- 230,000
Honokaa High/Inter.  -- 34  -- 1,814,658
Hookena  -- 30  -- 305,000
Kahakai  -- 15  -- 339,000
Kalanianaole El/Inter  -- 30  -- 1,287,000
Kapiolani  -- 21  -- 379,000
Kau High/Pahala El  -- 24  -- 614,000
Kaumana  -- 12  -- 236,000
Keaau El/Intermediate  -- 44  -- 1,172,000
Keakealani  -- 8  -- 95,000
Kealakehe  -- 32  -- 1,022,000
Kealakehe Inter.  -- 20  -- 603,000
Keaukaha  -- 24  -- 538,000
Keonepoko  -- 18  -- 385,000
Kohala  -- 18  -- 458,000
Kohala High/Inter.  -- 25  -- 872,000
Konawaena  -- 21  -- 672,000
Konawaena High  -- 23  -- 572,000
Konawaena High/Inter.  -- 26  -- 621,111
Konawaena Inter.  -- 23  -- 334,000
Laupahoehoe High/Ele.  -- 25  -- 860,000
Mountain View  -- 35  -- 845,000
Mountain View El/Inter.  -- 11  -- 210,000
Naalehu  -- 38  -- 455,000
Paauilo El/Inter.  -- 28  -- 861,000
Pahoa  -- 54  -- 621,000
Pahoa High  -- 60  -- 1,300,830
Waiakea  -- 54  -- 1,493,000
Waiakea High  -- 62  -- 1,516,200
Waiakea Inter  -- 57  -- 1,399,500
Waiakeawaena  -- 38  -- 1,000,500
Waikoloa Elementary  -- 4  -- 68,000
Waimea El/Int  -- 41  -- 1,091,000

Maui District

Baldwin High  -- 233  -- 9,131,488
Haiku  -- 43  -- 608,000
Hana High/El  -- 18  -- 454,000
Iao  -- 35  -- 525,999
Kahului  -- 51  -- 828,500
Kalama Inter  -- 27  -- 618,912
Kamehameha III  -- 137  -- 1,918,600
Kamalii  -- 2  -- 31,000
Kaunakakai  -- 32  -- 526,000
Keanae  -- 11  -- 309,000
Kihei  -- 41  -- 781,443
Kilohana  -- 11  -- 385,000
King Kekaulike High  -- 8  -- 197,854
Kualapuu  -- 40  -- 704,900
Kula  -- 40  -- 770,500
Lahaina Inter  -- 48  -- 606,000
Lahainaluna High  -- 131  -- 3,979,445
Lanai High/El  -- 128  -- 3,884,298
Lihikai  -- 119  -- 1,591,750
Lokelani Inter  -- 5  -- 89,000
Makawao  -- 22  -- 564,000
Maui High  -- 130  -- 3,052,396
Maui Waena Inter  -- 17  -- 405,188
Maunaloa  -- 20  -- 339,000
Molokai High/Inter  -- 110  -- 2,469,826
Nahienaena  -- 6  -- 56,000
Paia  -- 59  -- 817,125
Pukalani  -- 34  -- 571,000
Puunene  -- 20  -- 351,000
Waihee  -- 20  -- 331,000
Wailuku  -- 71  -- 1,029,544

Kauai

Anahola  -- 1 -- 40,000
Eleele  -- 14  -- 383,320
Hanalei  -- 5  -- 54,000
Kalaheo  -- 21  -- 367,300
Kapaa  -- 34  -- 651,200
Kapaa High/Int  -- 31  -- 1,112,600
Kauai High/Int  -- 42  -- 1,369,650
Kekaha  -- 14  -- 160,500
Kilauea  -- 9  -- 121,338
King Kaumualii  -- 10  -- 302,000
Koloa  -- 11  -- 92,051
Waimea Canyon  -- 12  -- 303,000
Waimea High  -- 22  -- 459,600
Wilcox  -- 34  -- 611,800


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