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Our Children Deserve a Permanent High School

Proposed temporary solution like a slap in the face.

October 25, 2012
Gylian Solay - Kihei , The Maui Weekly

Charter schools are a great addition to educating our children, and they, as well as the Kihei High School, need a larger and more appropriate permanent facility.

However, in your editorial ("Kihei High School: My two cents worth." Sept. 27, 2012), you suggested we save bussing money for our high school children by leasing retail space in the proposed "Pi'ilani Mall" as a temporary solution for our much-needed Kihei High School, as if the mall was going to be built. As you well know, the "Mega Mall" has legal actions against it as ruled unanimously by the Land Use Commission.

The thought of paying the developer to lease temporary space to our students added insult to injury and made my blood boil. It felt like a slap in the face to me and those striving for a healthy community, small businesses, the environment, our own senator and representative who condemned the developer's actions, and the state Land Use Commission's ruling against the developers for their non-compliance and skirting the law.

When the "Mega Mall" was exposed, you encouraged letters from all sides; there was neutrality in your editorials and coverage, posing the facts, setting up a poll.

Considering the developer's unsavory and despicable attitude toward the community, as well as the law, your option appeared as a subliminal plug to legitimize the building of the mall under the veil of the needs of a Kihei High School.

Are our children of so little importance that you are looking for a temporary solution to an issue that has been blocked for over 11 years? Don't our children deserve a permanent high school?

There have been money and people willing to build the Kihei High School since the plan was proposed. Yet, the much-needed school continues to lie on the chopping block, over and over again, blaming lack of funds, which were once available but lapsed due to zoning and environmental impact studies.

Why aren't you proposing to pressure the zoning board and find out what is really in the way of building the high school, and move it through as quickly as possible in a legitimate way?

Here are my options:

1.Ask the developer to drop the mall and build a high school... they didn't have to wait years.

2.Since the Kihei Charter School is already leasing space in our local retail spaces, let's continue to financially support our local existing malls and utilize the many vacancies in the Kihei malls and other local spaces as a temporary solution.

3.Utilize the money pouring cement for business parks and proposed prisons and put it into the Kihei High School. Corporate millions are pouring in to our county for their own gains, while we need to update our educational environment and teachers' salaries, which continue to get cut.

Our perspectives and priorities seem to be topsy-turvy. With healthier school environments for our children, we may not need prisons or more low-paying jobs. We can have healthy, educated young people with careers to look forward to and advance our future generation.



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