HPU’s Kaneohe campus to expand
The university plans to launch an effort to raise funds next year
Hawaii Pacific University has started planning for a $70 million expansion of its Windward Oahu campus, including new student housing, a performing arts center, gym, classroom and lab space, university officials said.
"It's an ambitious project, the most ambitious in our history," said Rick Stepien, HPU vice president of administration. "That (the Hawaii Loa campus) is our flagship for the future."
Stepien said HPU will continue to have a downtown campus, but some classes and programs might be shifted to the Kaneohe campus.
"We'll always remain downtown. We started downtown," Stepien said earlier this month. "We are not going to abandon the downtown area."
The planned completion of the expansion in about five years coincides with the end of some of the university's leases, and HPU will likely give up some downtown office space as programs move to Kaneohe, Stepien said.
The university announced recently that it hired Group 70 International as the lead architectural and planning firm for the expansion.
HPU will likely start raising money for the construction next year, Stepien said.
A key part of the plan is to nearly triple the amount of student housing by adding about 400 beds.
"The campus currently offers housing to more than 210 students, but the demand for such housing increases every year," Stepien said.
HPU also wants to build a new academic center, student center, recreational facilities, faculty offices and parking.
The campus sits on conservation land, so the university is working with the Department of Land and Natural Resources to get approvals for the expansion, Stepien said.
HPU is the state's largest private university, with more than 8,000 students.