Categorized | Business

Keauhou Beach Hotel coming down in 2015


Kamehameha Schools has filed a Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) for publication by the state Office of Environmental Quality Control after receiving approval from the county Planning Department.

This is the first step in a process to allow the Schools to proceed with timely demolition of the Keauhou Beach Hotel (KBH) and implement its vision for an educational complex at Kahaluu Ma Kai.

An approved Final Environmental Assessment (Final EA) is required to support necessary land use entitlements for future plans for an aina-based learning complex.

“This will be an educational piko for West Hawaii, a Hawaiian place in which opportunities for applied learning, teaching, and knowledge creation are rooted in tradition while aspiring to 21st- century innovation,” said Kaeo Duarte, Kamehameha Schools’ director of strategic initiatives in West Hawaii.

“The potential for learning opportunities extends across a broad range of learners from this community, across the island and beyond,” Duarte said.

An approved Final EA will make Kamehameha’s Kahaluu Ma Kai project compliant with the state’s environmental review process.

The publication and availability of the Draft EA on Aug. 8 starts a 30-day period for public review via submittal of comment letters due by Sept. 8.

The Draft EA will be made available on the state Office of Environmental Quality Control’s website, and copies distributed to agencies and other consulted parties.

“Our community ohana will have a few venues through which they can offer comments, ask questions and provide input during the environmental review process,” said Allen Salavea, land planning and entitlements manager at Kamehameha Schools. “We’ll be hosting two open house meetings to share site plans and gather community manao on Aug. 13 and Aug. 14.”

Once the environmental review process is complete and all
applicable land use entitlements are obtained, demolition of KBH and proposed improvements to the site for an educational facility can be implemented.

“We’ve been in discussions with various community stakeholder groups including kupuna, lineal descendants of the area, educational entities, Native Hawaiian organizations and government agencies for the past three years,” said Duarte. “Manao from stakeholders helped us develop a preliminary conceptual site plan to serve as a guide for transforming Kahalu‘u Ma Kai into a landscape for traditional learning, and doing so in a way that honors the aina and kai.”

Demolition of the vacant hotel is slated for the fall of 2015.

In compliance with state, federal and county rules, Kamehameha Schools has directed contractors to carefully remove the structure to protect the near-shore ecosystem and cultural sites and has also planned for the proper recycling of demolition material.

Kamehameha Schools is a private, educational, charitable trust founded and endowed by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Kamehameha Schools operates a statewide educational system enrolling over 6,900 students of Hawaiian ancestry at K-12 campuses on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii and 30 preschool sites statewide.

More than 40,400 additional Hawaiian learners and caregivers are served each year through a range of other Kamehameha Schools’ outreach programs, community collaborations and financial aid opportunities in Hawaii and across the continental United States.

Income generated from its Hawaii real estate and portfolio of diverse financial investments fund 96 percent of the Schools’ educational mission.

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