CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
A vandalized directory, seen here yesterday on the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus, is just one thing that might need repair.
Neglect of UH campus appalls senators
Fixes to UH classrooms would likely take priority over athletics
STORY SUMMARY »
After seeing a sample of needed repairs and maintenance at the flagship University of Hawaii-Manoa campus -- work estimated at between $200 million and $400 million -- key state senators suggested yesterday that classrooms would likely take priority over athletics in this year's budget.
The senators and Gov. Linda Lingle also suggested that if UH is to become a world-class institution, private donors and alumni would have to step up their giving.
"If government has to do all of what is needed, we will never get it done," said Sen. Roz Baker, chairwoman of the Ways and Means Committee.
Senators were appalled at unfinished football coaches' offices and aging athletic facilities. But they also saw a lab at Gartley Hall that was recently flooded by toilet water from the men's bathroom above it, and classrooms and offices at the University Lab School that only meet electrical and safety codes from the 1940s, the last time any major construction was done in the wooden building.
Here are some of the top projects the University of Hawaii is recommending for capital improvement funding:
» $21.5 million for renovation and addition to the Campus Center Complex
» $10.168 million for Gartley Hall renovation
» $7.241 million for law school expansion and renovation
» $3.599 million for performing arts facility and parking structure
Source: University of Hawaii
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CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Glenn Nakaya, Murakami Stadium manager, second from left, showed off new turf installed at the baseball stadium to legislators touring University of Hawaii-Manoa facilities yesterday.
Calling the University of Hawaii at Manoa a "tarnished jewel," Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw said the aging campus is in need of a drastic overhaul.
"Unless there is a major change in the way we do business, we will continue to have great moments of brilliance that dim quickly," Hinshaw told the Board of Regents yesterday.
"We need to rebuild our campus at Manoa," she said, noting that 37 buildings on campus leak. "Keeping us even is not a good strategy."
The university has asked the governor and the Legislature for $120 million in new construction projects, including $48.3 million to attack a backlog of repair and maintenance projects.
So far, UH-Manoa has identified nearly $150 million in needed repairs on campus, and the list is still growing.
Based on the age and size of the campus, the university estimates repair and maintenance needs are between $200 million and $400 million.
At the same time, UH-Manoa wants to build new classrooms and new lab space, expand the law school, build a new performing arts facility and parking structures, and expand the campus center.
Key state lawmakers who toured the flagship campus yesterday suggested something has to give.
"I think new buildings might have to take a back seat," said Senate Vice President Donna Kim (D, Kalihi Valley-Halawa).
Kim and Ways and Means Chairwoman Roz Baker (D, Honokohau-Makenai) and Vice Chairman Shan Tsutsui (D, Wailuku-Kahului) toured the campus yesterday with an eye toward the complaints about facilities raised by the loss of football coach June Jones.
They saw the planned office space for football coaches that is still unfinished three years after the completion of an athletics complex expansion.
The lawmakers asked why the Legislature was never made aware of some of the facilities problems cited by Jones, and questioned how priorities are set by the Manoa campus, the UH president and the Board of Regents.
The senators also wanted to know what UH President David McClain and Hinshaw had promised to fix in the effort to keep Jones from leaving and where the money was coming from.
The athletic department showed off a conference room built by a donor and an academic study lounge funded by another donor. They also pointed out another computer room by the men's locker room funded by a donor that is unused because there is not enough staff to man it.
But lawmakers also saw classrooms and other facilities on the upper campus in need of major upgrades.
Gov. Linda Lingle's budget provides for only $48.5 million for repair and maintenance, to be split among the 10 UH campuses, not just UH-Manoa.
It is an amount Baker called "inadequate."
Lingle also suggested private donors need to step up.
She noted that the Honolulu Symphony has raised $450,000 through a grass-roots effort.
"There's a lot more grass-roots support for the Warrior football team right now than there is the symphony, so I
believe they could raise millions of dollars just from people who want to support the program coming forward," she said.