CIP funding released: prison expansion, school improvements to move forward

The state on Wednesday released more than $ 55 million in capital improvement project funds for various Big Island projects, including millions for a new housing unit at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center and Konawaena High School for the improvement in athletics.

Some $ 5.79 million will be used to build a new medium security housing unit at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center that will reduce overcrowding at Hilo Jail.

The facility, built in 1975, currently has a nominal capacity of 206 beds and an operational capacity of 226. As of Monday, the facility housed 278 people, or 123 percent of nominal capacity.

The project, which is expected to cost around $ 20.8 million, will provide an additional 140 beds and is expected to be completed in January 2023, according to a press release from Gov. David Ige’s office announcing the release of some $ 601.9 million for capital improvement projects across the state.

“We are building on the efforts of previous years to improve and rejuvenate a wide range of public infrastructure necessary for the well-being and safety of residents of Hawaii,” said Ige. “As we continue to meet the challenges of COVID-19, we want to ensure that Hawaii has the resources to meet critical needs, as well as to support opportunities and conservation efforts.”

Konawaena High School will receive $ 6.3 million to fund the design and construction of athletic upgrades at the South Kona School which opened 100 years ago. The project will also include synthetic pitch and synthetic track replacement, storage facility for field maintenance equipment, track storage in addition to ground and site improvements.

Other funding includes:

• Three allocations of $ 6 million, $ 280,000 and $ 120,000 for a new community center, two new parking lots and the relocation of the lower baseball field to Waiakea Uka Park;

• $ 15 million to the Volcano School of Arts and Sciences for the construction of a new campus;

• $ 5 million for the design and construction of a girls’ sports locker room at Waiakea High School;

• $ 3.8 million to Hawaii Health Systems Corp. to launch the second phase of a bathroom renovation project at Kona Community Hospital;

• $ 3.25 million for the construction of a perimeter fence at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport in Keahole, a $ 3.51 million project;

• $ 2.1 million to fund the land, design and construction of traffic improvements at various locations;

• $ 1 million to HHSC to upgrade the heating system at Kona Community Hospital;

• $ 1 million for the replacement of an ungulate extension fence on Maunakea;

• $ 835,000 to HHSC to upgrade the HVAC system in the sterile storage area of ​​the Kona Community Hospital;

• $ 800,000 to HHSC for additional construction funds to renovate and modernize the lobby at Hilo Medical Center;

• $ 800,000 for the design of terminal fire sprinklers at Hilo International Airport;

• $ 650,000 for the construction of a south ramp taxiway and ramp upgrade at Kona International Airport, a $ 19.13 million project.

• $ 500,000 to replace deteriorated wooden fenders at Wailoa Small Boat Harbor.

• $ 450,000 for design improvements at Honokaa High and Intermediate;

• $ 400,000 for the construction of a new fence on the cone in the Pu’u Wa’awa’a forest reserve to protect native plants;

• $ 350,000 for Hawi No. 5 reservoir decommissioning efforts;

• $ 300,000 for design improvements at Honokaa Elementary;

• $ 200,000 for the removal of dangerous structures in the Pu’u Wa’awa’a Forest Reserve; and

• $ 100,000 to the Big Island Substance Abuse Council for the construction of a behavioral health campus in Keaau. The total cost of the project is $ 150,000.

Big Island allocations total $ 55,034,420.

Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter Stephanie Salmons contributed to this report.

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