Saturday, August 20, 2005

$10M allays concerns
for Kauai campus

LIHUE » Gov. Linda Lingle announced she was releasing $10 million to Kauai Community College for a One-Stop Center to keep the school accredited.

The center, the first of two buildings expected to be constructed at the Puhi campus, will house enrollment, testing, counseling, financial aid, registration and business office services in one location.

According to college Chancellor Peggy Cha, placement testing had to be done in hallways because of space constraints.

"This will make a tremendous difference," Cha said. "We need to make sure the students identify where they want to go" in the future, and provide the tools to get them there.

The funding will cover $9.3 million for construction costs and $625,000 for equipment. The design was completed last month, and construction for the building is expected to be finished by next August.

The project was included in the University of Hawaii Board of Regents' construction budget for fiscal 2005. UH officials ranked the project among their highest priorities, partly because of concerns raised by an accreditation commission.

According to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, the current location and space assignment of the offices interferes with the quality of services available to students.

The second building would house the Office of Continuing Education and Training and the bookstore.

Currently that office operates from temporary portable buildings and faces limited space, as well as a lack of integrated technologies needed to adequately plan, coordinate and administer noncredit short-term courses and activities.

"Just because we are on Kauai, we shouldn't be restricted to (only) what's available on Kauai," Cha said, with the technological resources that are available.

The community college has about 1,200 students, Cha said, with growth of about 150 students expected in the next few years.

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