Maui Preparatory Academy, a new private school, opened Tuesday in meeting rooms provided for free at the Kapalua Bay Hotel after delays in completing construction of its facilities in West Maui. Here, teacher Keenan Reader instructs a sixth-grade class in mathematics.

Maui kids start
school in hotel

Work delays keep students at
Maui Preparatory off campus

KAPALUA, Maui » Children attending a new private school on Maui are dropped off at the entrance of a luxury hotel and walk past a bell desk, lobby and fine-dining restaurant as they head to their classes.

The Maui Preparatory Academy opened Tuesday for 30 students from sixth though eighth grade, but construction delays prevented them from using the new campus a few miles away.

Maui Land & Pineapple Co., owners of the Kapalua Bay Hotel, offered the free use of three meeting rooms for classes and a courtyard for gatherings, in addition to the north lawn for physical education.

The firm is also providing free lunches for students at the hotel employee cafeteria.

Accompanied by three certified lifeguards on the school staff, students have access to a beach at Kapalua Bay.

"It's unbelievable. We're blessed," said Jack Rizzo, head of the school.

Rizzo said school officials hope the $4.2 million campus will be ready for occupancy in two to three weeks. He said more students are being processed to attend the school.

Annual tuition at the school, which operates on a trimester system, is $8,800 annually.

"We're not going to be an elitist school," he said.

Rizzo said the school plans to add a class a year and eventually have courses for students from ninth through 12th grade.

In addition to providing basic academic courses, Maui Preparatory's curriculum includes a Japanese-language class for seventh- and eighth-graders and a speed-reading program.

The school plans to provide students with laptop computers for classroom work and integrate the arts in its curriculum.

Students will be performing an off-campus spring musical, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

The new school is on about 15 acres mauka of Maui Land & Pineapple Co.'s base yard. Maui Land & Pineapple donated the 15 acres, including old dormitories that once housed pineapple workers.

Maui Preparatory Academy

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