Friday, September 17, 1999

Tom Hisamura, Special to the tar-Bulletin
Construction of new basketball courts is under way at Makiki Park.

Makiki pool
on horizon

By Gordon Y.K. Pang


The city's first swimming pool in two decades will begin construction at Makiki District Park next year.

The 25-yard, eight-lane pool will be between the arts and crafts building and the tennis courts, just Ewa of the community garden.

The $2.4 million pool will be the first of three expected to go up in the next few years, Mayor Jeremy Harris said at a groundbreaking yesterday. A 50-meter pool at Salt Lake District Park, budgeted at $2.9 million, will go out to bid by the end of the year while another 50-meter facility at Mililani District Park is in the planning stages.

Some 20 years ago, former Mayor Frank Fasi placed a moratorium on constructing new city swimming pools, Harris said. A developer did contribute a pool four years ago in Waikele.

"Partially as a result of (no new pools), we have had a whole generation of young people grow up who aren't able to swim," the mayor said. "When you live in an island state, it's important that the young people who grow up here are water people."

Other improvements at Makiki District Park have begun including new basketball courts, reconstruction of existing basketball and volleyball courts, security lighting and concrete walkways to meet accessibility requirements. Those improvements are expected to be completed next February.

Also, a $650,000 skate park will be placed below the mauka side of the Keeaumoku Street bridge.

Makiki Councilman Andy Mirikitani, who pushed for the project, said the pool is long in coming having been part of the Makiki District Park Master Plan conceived 20 years ago.

The new facilities will allow for more programs and other activities to keep youths out of trouble, he said.

"These improvements will truly transform this park into one of the most ideal recreational facilities in this state," Harris said.

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