FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
City worker Jessica Pacheco, left, helped Army Sgt. Penny Martin with vehicle registration yesterday at the newly renovated Pearlridge Satellite City Hall. CLICK FOR LARGE
Redone satellite city hall reopens at Pearlridge
As former major league player and high school baseball coach John Matias left the Pearlridge Satellite City Hall yesterday, he said the city hit a home run with the newly renovated facility.
"It's great," Matias said, standing with his wife, Pauline, after renewing his car registration. "It's a lot easier, quicker and it's a lot bigger. Very friendly people here."
Matias was one of the several dozen people waiting in line for the official reopening yesterday of the Pearlridge Satellite City Hall, which closed Feb. 1 for renovations.
It's the first satellite city hall to undergo an extreme makeover in 10 years, and city officials said other satellites could follow.
The Koolau Driver's Licensing Center in Ahuimanu, which opened in December, was the prototype for the new design of the satellites, said Jeff Coelho, director of the Department of Customer Services.
The Windward Mall Satellite City Hall could possibly be next for renovation.
Pearlridge handles 160,000 transactions a year, and the city spent $186,000 for renovations.
"We've modernized the whole transaction process, increased the usable floor space and just brightened it up, made it more friendly," Coelho said.
He said customers at the Pearlridge facility can now conduct their business in a single visit at one window. Previously, for example, customers had to stand in one line to process their car registration and in a second line to pay the fee.
"We're able to make each window a cash-based window. It's single transaction -- much faster, more efficient for the person trying to get their service done," Coelho said.
The satellite is now 30 percent bigger, with more service windows, and the old carpet was pulled up and replaced with tiles that will make it easier to keep the facility cleaner and brighter, he said.
"It looks a lot nicer," said Randy Pilar, 24, of Mililani, who last visited the Pearlridge location a year ago when he last had to renew his car registration.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann was just happy that the raised ceiling was now high enough to accommodate his 6-foot-7-inch frame. "I think I might have to work here," the mayor chuckled after greeting each customer in line.