Star-Bulletin Features

Saturday, August 4, 2001

St. Patrick's Church

St. Patrick’s
new order

A $13 million project will
expand and renovate the complex

By Mary Adamski

A $13 million project to expand St. Patrick's School in Kaimuki and renovate its namesake church and the monastery, which occupy the same block, has been unveiled to parish members.

The plan would extend the kindergarten building to provide for a preschool and add a two-story resource center and library building on the campus, which is bordered by Harding, Waialae, 6th and 7th avenues.

Besides providing for expansion of the 535-student school, planners intend to upgrade the monastery, home to retired priests and brothers, into a nursing care facility for aging members of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

The planning team is led by the Rev. Clyde Guerreiro, provincial of the religious order that operates the facilities; the Rev. Lane Akiona, pastor of St. Patrick's Church; and Sister Rose Schillinger, principal of the school.

Akiona presented the plans and displayed architect drawings at town hall meetings for church members last month. The 450-member parish would not be expected to bear the financial burden, he told them.

St. Patrick's Church's central area is a large asphalt parking
lot which will be converted into a grassy area. Above, students
line up to return to their classroom. The main classrooms
are on the right in the background.

Guerreiro said the religious organization will launch a capital campaign later this year and will seek grants from foundations and education resources, particularly for the school expansion. Alumni can expect to be tapped for help, as well. A committee headed by Rupert Hunt is preparing a mailing list of former students from the elementary school as potential donors or volunteers in the effort.

Guerreiro said changes in all three facilities have been contemplated for years. The timing is motivated by a need to upgrade the care facility to accommodate the growing number of priests who have reached retirement age, as well as a demand for a preschool.

"We're facing the asbestos problem and lead paint, so that will hike up the cost," he said.

He said the city has approved the site plan, and the master plan for the block has the endorsement of the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board.

Akiona told parishioners that the last in priority will be renovation of the church, a 71-year-old Kaimuki landmark, which has not been upgraded for about 17 years. Among the targets are replacement of corroding metal framework in its stained-glass windows and the tile roof.

Some parishioners have balked at some proposed changes, such as installation of air conditioning in the church. But because the church and other facilities are owned by the Sacred Hearts order, approval is not required from church members, nor from the Catholic diocese.

Beautification of the entire block is included; the most significant is creation of a grassy lawn and playground to replace the current asphalt expanse between the school buildings and church.

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