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New Ewa school aims to stem flood of kids


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POSTED: Friday, July 03, 2009

The booming Ewa community has crammed students into Ilima Intermediate School for years, but a new public middle school projected to open in July 2010 will bring relief.

“;People are waiting for this,”; said Gov. Linda Lingle, who participated in the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday. “;This project is actually long overdue, and they deserve it.”;

Ewa Makai Middle School will sit on 18.5 acres donated by Gentry Homes, covering 175,900 square feet, according to the Department of Education. The $64.8 million facility on Kapolei Parkway will accommodate 700 seventh- and eighth-graders from the district. The curriculum will feature high technology, performing arts, health and fitness, and environmental science, said Vernon Young, the Campbell/Kapolei area superintendent.

“;I think the community will be really proud of this school,”; said Young, emphasizing the school's “;green”; design.

Ewa Makai Middle School will follow the standards of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The one-story enclosed school will feature an energy-efficient air-conditioning system, natural day lighting, an irrigation system and other sustainable features. With this “;green”; design, the facility could save $22,000 per year in utility costs.

For years, Ilima Intermediate has been the only middle school in the district and has suffered from overcrowded classrooms. The school has resorted to using portables to accommodate its nearly 1,400 students, said Young. Lingle added that the school made an arrangement with Kapolei Middle School to temporarily transfer 100 of its students.

“;Education plays a very important part of our economy,”; said Garrett Toguchi, chairman of the Board of Education. “;This shows our commitment to public education and where our priorities are.”;