Instead of continuing to spend money bussing 400 South Maui high school students to Central Maui year after year until the new $160 million Kihei High School is built-- when and if funding is found--maybe more realistic and creative options should be considered.
For example, enrollment in Kihei Charter School (K-12) is now over 500 students. The charter school has evolved greatly since its beginnings at the Kihei Youth Center in 2001. KCS moved to a light industrial complex on Ohukai Road the next year, and relocated to a new facility within the complex in 2006, the former site of Hope Chapel. During summer 2007, the school acquired additional space for a second campus in Kihei and expanded its enrollment to accommodate a STEM program for middle school students.
In 2009, the school acquired additional space and expanded the second campus to Lipoa Center, in the former location of Hapa's nightclub and office space, right in the heart of one of Kihei's many retail areas. This campus serves students in grades K-8 and the Ohukai campus serves students in grades 9-12.
The first STEM school in the state offers learning opportunities beyond the four walls of the school, including online courses and college classes. And KCS has a fleet of vans, which expands learning spaces to include all of Maui as a learning lab, truly embodying the classroom-without-walls concept.
Now adjacent to the location of land purchased for the Kihei High School, we have the proposed Piilani Promendade retail center and Maui Outlets center.
Maybe the South Maui Learning Ohana that founded the charter school 11 years ago can help us out with some ideas just in case a shiny new, perfect KHS is not in the cards for South Maui in the near future.
It may not be perfect, but leased space in a retail center would, at long last, be a tangible start for Kihei High School.
Just my two cents worth of ideas for a plan that may need even more change.