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POSTED: Tuesday, November 10, 2009

$22.5M set aside for federal building design

The U.S. General Services Administration has awarded a $22.5 million design contract, part of $121 million in federal stimulus funds, to modernize and renovate the Prince Kuhio Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, agency officials said.

The architectural and engineering firm of Gensler Architects of San Francisco in association with Clifford Planning LLC of Honolulu won the contract last month.

The design work is expected to be completed next spring, at which time construction will begin on the courthouse renovation.

The renovation of the 220,000-square-foot facility will include security and energy efficiency upgrades and repairs to the 32-year-old building. The building's elevators, electrical, ventilation and air conditioning systems will also be modernized.

Free entrance to parks to mark Veterans Day

In honor of Veterans Day, entrance will be free tomorrow to national parks at Hawaii Volcanoes, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, Kaloko-Honokohau and Pu'ukohola Heiau.

“;Visitors to national parks are invited to take a day to honor and reflect on what our service men and women have done to maintain our freedom and keep peace around the world,”; said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, whose department manages the National Parks Service.

“;I'm part of a military family,”; said Hawaii Volcanoes' Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “;Hawaii Volcanoes is the perfect place this Veterans Day for families to spend time together, reconnect with nature and create precious memories.”;

State hospitals getting $3M in improvements

A little more than $3 million is being used to pay for various improvements at state hospitals on four islands.

The Governor's Office said last week that $1.2 million will go to Lanai Hospital for renovations, construction of a new waiting room and replacement of equipment.

Kau Hospital, Kohala Hospital and Hale Hoola Hamakua on the Big Island will each receive $414,000 to replace aging X-ray systems.

Oahu's Leahi Hospital will get $150,000 to install a new grease trap system to be in compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations and requirements.

Kula Hospital on Maui will receive $43,000 to finance electrical improvements, in addition to $414,000 to replace its aging X-ray system.

Hilo astronomy center appoints interim chief

Ka'iu Kimura, associate director of the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii in Hilo, has been appointed interim executive director, succeeding Peter Giles.

“;Ka'iu brings a wealth of experience to this position, combined with energy and drive,”; said University of Hawaii-Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng.

Kimura, who was raised in Waimea, graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus and UH-Hilo. She has been with 'Imiloa since 2001, working as content research specialist and as the center's experience coordinator before becoming associate director with broad responsibilities.

Neighbor islands

Public session to review Koloa roads

A public information meeting on the proposed construction of a roadway segment that would connect the two Koloa bypass roads on Kauai is scheduled for Thursday.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. at the Koloa Neighborhood Center.

Referred to as the “;northerly leg of the western bypass road,”; the new roadway will run between Maluhia and Koloa roads and link Ala Kinoiki and Ala Kalanikaumaka bypass roads.

The connector road is a key component in Kauai County's plan to improve traffic flow in the South Shore.

To request an American Sign Language interpreter, alternative format or an auxiliary aid, please contact Ken Teshima with the Department of Public Works at 241-4995.

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-Star-Bulletin staff