Friday, May 11, 2001


UH may get
Cannon Club land

The site comprises 7.8 acres
on the side of Diamond Head

By Gregg K. Kakesako

The University of Hawaii wants to the use almost eight acres on which the old Cannon Club sits on the slopes of Diamond Head to expand Kapiolani Community College's culinary arts program.

The state in March purchased the 7.8 acres of Fort Ruger land from the federal government for $440,000.

It also requested $7.2 million from lawmakers this year to continue upgrading the area as part of the Diamond Head State Monument. But that request was rejected, and now the university wants to make it part of Kapiolani Community College's campus.

Teri Tanaka, spokeswoman for the Department of Land and Natural Resources, said department officials have already initiated talks with UH officials on its possible use by the community college.

"There don't seem to be any problems as long the UH's use is compatible," Tanaka said.

Jim Manke, UH spokesman, said the university would like to use the Cannon Club land to expand Kapiolani's Culinary Institute of the Pacific program. He said the matter is only in the discussion stages.

The matter will be reviewed by the University's board of regents at its next meeting Thursday.

The Army closed the Cannon Club on June 1, 1997, after failing to find a private contractor to run it. It had been a private military club for 52 years and open only to Army officers.

The Cannon Club at one point was part of a larger Army complex dating back to 1906. More than 700 acres, including area within Diamond Head -- an extinct volcano crater -- was part of Fort Ruger.

When the Hawaii National Guard moved out of the area mauka of Diamond Head Road -- up the road across the street from the Cannon Club -- it was turned over to Kapiolani Community College.

A master plan for the area was adopted by the Legislature in 1970 after Diamond Head was designated a national monument in 1968, but the plan was never fully implemented.

It called for the club to be used as an orientation center where visitors could buy gifts and food.

Cars eventually were to be parked at the club's lot instead of inside the crater, and a tram was to take visitors to various points of interest.

The final plan also called for removal of the National Guard and Federal Aviation Administration buildings in the crater, with those organizations moving to Barbers Point and Honolulu Airport, respectively.

Ka Leo O Hawaii
University of Hawaii

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