The Dream: Our $15 Million, 9-Classroom Keaoākea STEAM Learning Center

Construction officially began Sept. 14, 2015 with a Notice to Proceed to Isemoto Contracting for our school's new 9-classroom, $15.89 million 
(Science – Technology – Engineering – Arts/’Aina – Math) Learning Center.  


On Dec. 15, 2017, the official Certificate of Occupancy was received -- construction is complete and our new two-story, 24,000-square- foot learning center opened for classes January 8, 2018.  This is the first significant new educational facility for the children of Waimea in more than 30 years.  We are deeply grateful to all who made this possible!  
A community celebration was held on January 8 to formally dedicate this "gift" to Waimea students, families and community by the people of Hawai'i via the State Legislature and Governor.  This new learning center catapults us into 21st century STEAM teaching and learning!  

News coverage in West Hawai'i Today:

January 2018

'Ua Hilo 'ia a Pa'a - Braided and Made Strong'

The kaona (hidden meaning) of this 'olelo no'eau and this 'aha (strands of cordage woven together)
remind us that progress requires the commitment of many to ensure success for all.
Together, let's celebrate progress for the children of Waimea.

A very warm mahalo to all who made this new learning center possible!

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Keaoākea STEAM Learning Center Dedication Encourages Students 
To Help Solve Real World Problems Such As Rapid ʻOhiʻa Death

Preparing Waimeaʻs public school students for 21st century careers that might help slow or stop Rapid ʻOhiʻa Death (ROD) – which has already destroyed thousands of acres of watershed on Hawaiʻi Island - got a major shot in the arm today with the dedication of Waimea Middle Schoolʻs new $15 million STEAM Learning Center.  The vision for this new science, technology, engineering, arts/ʻaina and math facility is challenging students to solve real-world problems – collaboratively. 

Public policy officials and community leaders from across the state joined several hundred Waimea Middle School 6th, 7th and 8th grade students, their teachers, staff and families to formally bless the new two-story, 9-classroom STEAM Learning Center Monday morning, Jan. 8, 2018. 

The dedication incorporated traditional Hawaiian protocol chants, an ʻoki piko ceremony symbolic of the birth of child with the cutting the umbilical cord, introduction of a student-proposed name for the building in lieu of the Department of Education “Building Z” designation, a formal maile and kukui lei untying and planting of an ʻohiʻa tree in a place where – in pre-contact times – a dense ʻohiʻa forest once flourished. 

Students announced that the formal name given to the building will be:



-- a place of “expansive knowledge” or “light.”  The students viewed it as “a safe place where all learners have the ability and right tools to be immersed in continual growth.”

Gov. David Ige and wife Dawn, State Sen. Lorraine Inouye, State Rep. Cindy Evans, Mayor Harry Kim, County Council Chair Val Poindexter and North and South Kohala Councilman Tim Richards participated in the dedication, along with members of Waimea Middle Schoolʻs local school board, Hoʻokakoʻo Corporation.  Also attending were Hawaiʻi Islandʻs Board of Education member Patricia Bergin, DOEʻs Complex Area Superintendent Art Souza. Special guests included former State Sen. Malama Solomon, PWO Navigator Chadd Paishon and Kahu Billy Mitchell. 

After the dedication, students entered the new learning center for the first time and then families and community members toured the building, which includes a makerspace, demonstration lab, science laboratories, general classrooms and an outdoor amphitheater that is connected to the adjacent Mala’ai School Garden. 

“We are deeply grateful to so many for making possible this “gift” to the children of Waimea,” said WMS Principal Amy Kendziorski.  The building is the first major new public school facility in nearly 30 years for Waimea. 

“This is a long-time dream come true, and we thank everyone who helped.  It’s also a statement of trust that our teachers and staff know what they’re doing and deserve this kind of public support.  We are already seeing this new building inspiring relevant, project-, place- and culture-based STEAM teaching and learning.  It’s very challenging, and our teachers are excited about and grateful for this opportunity,” she said. 

To emphasize the importance of STEAM teaching and learning, Gov. Ige used the occasion to announce release of $1.264 million to help Hawaiʻi Island fight Rapid ʻOhiʻa Death.  He challenged the students to help todayʻs scientists and forest experts find a solution to ROD, drawing on their innate curiosity and using team problem solving along with the STEAM skills they learn in this new building.  

Another highlight of the program was a presentation by students of the cultural lesson of the ‘aha – hand-braided cordage that binds together the strengths of each and every contributor. Every student, teacher, administrator and staff member, many family members and the school's Local Advisory Panel and Ho’okako’o Corporation helped create the 'aha presented at the dedication. 

The kaona, or deeper meaning, of the 'aha reminds us that progress requires the commitment of many to ensure success for all,” Principal Kendziorski said. 

For questions, please call WMS Director of Development Patti Cook (937-2833).  For more information about the school and STEAM Learning Center, go to for like the school on Facebook. 

For news announcement about Governor releasing $1.264 million to fight Rapid ʻOhiʻa Death, click here: 

Help Still Needed With Our Beautiful New STEAM Learning Center!  

What wasn't included in the funding for our STEAM Learning Center -- per DOE guidelines -- was 21st century technology - presentation carts, 3D printers, all of the technology and equipment needed for a makerspace and more, including funds to deploy, train and support teachers and students.  WMS is launching a series of school-community events and programs to address this...please see report on our first student-family event below and please stay tuned!  Your help is needed -- and gifts large and small will make a difference!  

For questions or to kokua by making a tax deductible donation, please email our Principal, or call (808) 464-9902, or, or call (808) 937-2833.   WMS has a 501(c)3 not-for-profit so donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.  

November 2017

WMS' beautiful, soon-to-open $15.89 million, 2-story STEAM (Science – Technology – Engineering – Arts/’Aina – Math) learning center has been formally named the “Z” building by the State Department of Education.  This is in keeping with all buildings on the hundred-plus year old campus bearing the name of a letter of the alphabet. 

However, WMS teachers, staff, administrators and Local Advisory Panel have launched a Name "Z" ” Building Contest open to current 6th through 8th grade students and also alumni in hopes of finding something more appropriate.  The winning name will be announced at the formal dedication now scheduled for Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 – the first day of 2nd Semester. 

The entire community will be invited to join students, families, teachers and staff for the 21st century learning centerʻs opening celebration.  More details about the opening dedication to follow. 

There is no charge to participate but entries must include an explanation of the meaning or story behind the suggested name, and if a person’s name is suggested, permission has to have been granted by the person or their family.   Deadline to submit an entry is Wed., Nov. 22, 2017. 

Submissions may be dropped off at the school office, or scanned and emailed to WMS math teacher Eunice “Laz” Lazarus at

The winning entry will be selected by a panel of current WMS students with support from adult advisors. 
For questions, please email

October 2017

Please look closely at this picture -- do you see what some might consider a ho'ailona? 


This picture was taken Oct. 26, 2017 when our State Sen. Lorraine Inouye brought members of the important State Senate Ways And Means (WAM) Committee to tour our soon-to-open 9-classroom, $15.89 million STEAM learning center. Most of these Senators have been on WAM long enough to have had a direct hand in WMS securing this funding, in effect, facilitating transformation of our school's teaching and learning. They're shown here at the conclusion of the tour with WMS faculty, staff and community partners. 

Please look closely at the reflection in the windows of the building to the right of our visitors! There's a subtle but beautiful rainbow...perhaps a ho'ailona -- a sign -- of the importance of the STEAM building for helping our teachers and staff better prepare our middle school students for life in the 21st century world and workplace. 

We sincerely thank these Senators and all in the State Legislature -- and also DOE Facilities, DAGs, Pacific Architects, and Isemoto Construction and their subcontractors -- who have helped make this dream come true for our children, families, faculty-staff and community!

Next steps? The move in of specialty 21st century STEAM classroom furniture has started, and the dedication of the building is set for Mon., Jan. 8, 2018.  

Concurrently, we are launching an aggressive campaign to fully outfit the building with essential 21st century technology. Our recent fun run got our technology fundraising started, but was just the beginning. 

Everyone's help is welcome!

September 2017

STEAMING FORWARD: 5th Annual WMS Fun Run/Walk & Silent Auction Kick Off STEAM Building Celebration And Fundraising!

More than 250 WMS students, families, faculty, staff and community friends participated in the 5th Annual WMS Fun Run/Walk and Silent Auction Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, to celebrate near completion of the school’s new $16 million, 9-classroom STEAM building.

The run/walk with bingo and silent auction also helped kick off fundraising for more than $1 million over the next several years for state-of-the-art technology for STEAM teaching to better prepare students and the community for the 21st century world and workplace. The school’s vision for the new STEAM building includes – first and foremost -- its 6th-8th grade students, faculty and staff, and also providing technology supports, trainings and collaboration for school families as well as other schools and the wider community.

For Friday’s event, a steady line of runners and walkers set off from campus to make their way through Luala’e homes and looped around Ala ‘Ohi’a and Pukalani Roads to return to the school for the silent auction, dinner, awards and door prizes.

First student athletes to complete the run and receive medals were:

For 1.5 miles: 
1) Lillian Bergan -7th grade
2) Jordan Barcenilla – 7th grade
3) Enry Bemry – 6th grade

For 3-miles:
1) TJ Arakawa – 8th grade
2) Keanu Hulama – 6th grade
3) Alema Ah Loy – 8th grade

Winner of the event’s top door prize – an iPad donated to the school – was Maui Hokoana – 6th grade.

Though tallies have yet to be finalized, more than $6,000 was raised by the run and silent auction, which featured more than 70 items including paniolo smoked meat and about a dozen extravagant gift baskets created by students and teachers in Advisory classes, plus 15 tons of gravel donated by West Hawaii Concrete with hauling by S&R Trucking.

Looking forward, the school’s aged master electrical meter must be replaced during Fall Break (Oct. 9-13) which will require complete shutdown of both Waimea Elementary and Waimea Middle Schools’ power and internet, so both schools’ offices will be entirely closed to the public. Classes will resume Mon., Oct. 16. Once the master meter is replaced, a Certificate of Occupancy must be secured, then move-in to the 2-story, 24,000-square-foot learning center can begin. Classes are expected to start in the new building Jan. 8, 2018 with the start of Second Semester.

For more pictures, go to 

West Hawai'i Today News Feature Oct. 5, 2017:

August 2017

July 2017

May 2017 

AN EXTREMELY MEANINGFUL “SNEAK PEEK” TOUR was provided last week for VIP guests State Senator Lorraine Inouye, State Senator Michelle Kidani and State Representative Cindy Evans into our still-under-construction, $16 million 9-classroom STEAM Building.  The group is seen here inspecting a state-of-the-art science lab with members of both WMS school leadership and members and staff of our local school board, Ho'okako'o Corp.  Pictured (L-R) are Dr. Robert K. Masuda (Ho'okako'o Board Member representing Waimea), Rep. Evans, WMS Principal Amy Kendziorski, Sen. Inouye, Joe Uno (Ho'okako'o Board Chair), Sen. Kidani, Dr. Paul Nakayama (also a Ho'okako'o Board Member representing Waimea), David Gibson (Ho'okako'o's Executive Director), Nancy Barry (a Ho'okako'o Board Member), Pat Rice (long time Waimea teacher, counselor, three-time principal & grant coordinator), and Steven Smith and Jay Matsumoto with WMS tech team.  Mahalo to our visiting public policy makers -- first for securing this "gift" to the children and families of Waimea -- and for your insights and assistance to help us continue moving this project forward to be all that it can be for our students!

February 2017

Look who came for a quick sneak peek into our still-under-construction 9-classroom, $16 million STEAM building during the 24th Annual Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival! Governor David Ige (standing in front of the Mala'ai Garden sign with pink lei) and his wife in bright pink, Dawn Ige. Welcoming them for the visit -- including an opportunity to see first-hand how the new STEAM building will 
integrate with the school's open-air Mala'ai Garden "classroom", were, L-R: Ho'okako'o Board Member Paul Nakayama, WMS teacher Mrs. Linda LoBue, Keck's Rich Masuda, WMS' Mrs. Pat Rice, DOH Pubic Health Nurse Sandy Tomiyama, WMS LAP Community Rep Jane Sherwood, WMS Principal Amy Kendziorski, Sen. Lorraine Inouye, Rep. Cindy Evans and Ho'okako'o Board member Robert K. Masuda. Kneeling are L-R: Mrs. Gail Kamei, a STEM teacher at Waiakea Intermediate, Ms. Connie Hastert, Mala'ai Garden Leader Holly Sargeant Green, Miss Kamei and CFHT's Mary Beth Laychak. Gov. Ige was Senate Ways and Means Chair when funding was secured for this major new educational asset for Waimea and worked closely with both Sen. Inouye and Rep. Evans to fund the project. Part of the visit was sharing the school's expanded vision for the building which is to become a "hub of STEAM teaching and learning" for Waimea. 

Photo courtesy of Tina Benson

January 2017

Full STEAM Ahead!  

West Hawai'i Today/North Hawai'i News Feature - Friday, Jan. 27, 2017:

* * * * *

                            We Have Broadened Our Vision For The New STEAM Building

To Become ‘A Hub of STEAM Teaching & Learning’

                                                                                                                                                                      September 2016

As Waimea Middle School celebrates its 100th anniversary, the children and families of our community are being gifted with an amazing new educational opportunity by our Legislature, Department of Education and the taxpayers of Hawai’i – a $16 million, 9-classroom STEAM building, which will be ready come Fall 2017. 

Calling it a STEAM building – not STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) – is significant.  All across the country, educators are adding an “A” into STEM for the “Arts” to recognize their importance in a well-rounded education.  But here in Hawai’i, the “A” takes on a deeper meaning – referring to ‘Aina-based, hands-on teaching and learning about our planet and universe, and our place in them.  Further, by adding the “A” (‘Aina/Arts), we address both specific curriculum and also how we teach to make the learning more relevant for students. 

Originally intended to be an 8-classroom building, the STEAM building’s interior spaces were realigned some years back into 9-classrooms.  In addition, the building includes a large interior corridor space and three smaller offices that are being envisioned as alternative – or complementary -- project work spaces for students. Effectively, the building includes 13 interior learning spaces plus an exterior mini-amphitheater linked to the Mala’ai Garden.

When the building opens this fall, the school envisions launching a 21st century interdisciplinary STEAM curriculum involving hands-on, project- and inquiry-based lessons that address real world issues with a strong sense of place and cultural relevance to inspire students to become “citizen scientists” serving their community.   

Toward this end:

1)   Several WMS teachers recently concluded a three-year National Science Foundation PREPARES grant project addressing climate change through a cultural lens in a partnership with Alaska University.  Yup’ik tribal students and WMS students piloted a series of curriculum lessons related to the environmental, economic, social and cultural consequences of climate change.  The grant culminated with students and teachers traveling to Alaska for an educational and cultural exchange with Yup’ik counterparts. 

2)  WMS 7th and 8th grade teacher teams are attending a training at High Tech High in San Diego during summer 2017 to support 21st century integrated, project-based curriculum development and implementation.  These teachers will work together to map out a curriculum plan incorporating core curriculum, use of technology, field trips, guest presenters and quarterly ho’ike (celebrations) to showcase learning to fellow students, faculty, families and community.

3)  Our Mala’ai School Garden has received a $50,000 grant to involve garden staff and WMS science teachers in working with Dr. Art Sussmann to integrate new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) with hands-on lessons.  Dr. Sussmann is an expert in NGSS and environmental education. Noted author of several books and co-Principal Investigator of the Pacific Islands Climate Education Partnership, he has led the piloting of NGSS standards for the State of California and is frequently consulted by Congress and others on 21st century science education.  He also has spent considerable time in the Pacific so is acutely aware of climate change impacts on Pacific Islands.

With this background and preparation, WMS envisions its new STEAM building – with state-of-the-art furniture and technology including a maker space and demonstration labs – as a “hub” of 21st century teaching and learning.  The school intends to provide its own students, faculty and staff as well as its families and wider community – including educators from other schools – with engaging professional development opportunities and learning experiences. 

December 2016:

Above & Left: WMS admin and staff and Ho'okako'o Board members welcomed State Sen. Lorraine Inouye for a sneak-peak hard hat walk thru of the still-under-construction STEAM building.

November 2016:

Below: WMS teachers and staff take their first hard hat tour of the new building.

Construction - October 2016:

Kamehameha Schools' 'ohana tour site.

Construction - August 2016:

Starting the new school year with the planting of a young A'ali'i in Mala'ai garden.

"He 'a a'ali'i au, 'a 'ohe makani e hia ai":  "I am an 'a'ali'i shrub, no wind can push me over" - a traditional Hawaiian proverb from Ka'u.  

This native plant was selected for its strength and flexibility.  It can withstand and thrive under challenging conditions, constantly displaying beauty and resilience as it grows.  This spot in Mala'ai garden was selected because from here you see Mauna Kea, Hoku'ula, the new STEAM building and the school.  May this plant grow strong and bring strength for all those who care for it.  

Construction - July 2016:

February 2016:

Governor David Ige tours construction site.

Construction Day 116 (of 400) - January 14, 2016:

Up, up and away! The Isemoto crew and subs are making amazing progress with constructing our 9-classroom 

STEM building - now in its 116th day as of 1/14/16. They are ahead of schedule and making it seem so easy...

but look at how astoundingly complex it is! 

We also thank them for helping create a Long Jump for our Track & Field student athletes, and helping make 

our gravel entry drive safer - it had become very rutted! 

This project will benefit generations of Waimea children...mahalo to everyone involved and who made it possible.

Construction Day 94 (of 400) - December 14, 2016:

Isemoto Contracting coordinated with West Hawai'i Concrete a large concrete pour of the foundation. It was a big pour of 290 cubic feet of concrete involving 29 cement mixers between about 7 a.m. and noon. It went very smoothly -- great planning, expert construction crew "on the ground" preparing and handling the mix, and beautiful weather.  We're excited about this progress on our building! 

See the gentleman on the extreme right in a long sleeved maroon shirt -- he is controlling the whole job with that tiny box suspended on a strap around his neck by gently adjusting two small knobs that control the flow of concrete and the entire hydraulic boom, which is fed wet mix from a stream of 29 cement trucks!  

Go to for more including videos! 
* * * * *

Construction Day 50 (of 400) - November 2, 2015:

Photo taken from beneath the Kukui Tree in Mala'ai school garden (near the tent-classroom) west showing the excavation from Drywell #2 to Drywell #3. The 12" adjoining drain line piping will be placed in this the work continues!   

Photo courtesy of Holly Sargeant-Green with explanation courtesy of DAGS' Werner Zindric.

Construction Day 40 (of 400) - October 24, 2015:


Removed berms around westerly perimeter of our Mala’ai school garden and relocated several of the garden’s trees, most notably a large Kukui tree (pictures attached) – the construction crew were especially careful about relocating the Kukui tree after students helped prune it to prep it for relocation. 

Located point of connection (POC) to existing utilities (water, electrical, phone and fire).

Working on installing site drywells and adjoining drain lines. 

Have started building foundation layout. 

West Hawai'i Today News Coverage (see end of story):


Here are photos of the amazing work the construction crew from Isemoto Contracting did to relocate a prized Kukui Tree in our Mala'ai School Garden.  It had to be relocated because the school garden is very close to the new building, which will be great when it's pau to fully integrate science and technology lessons w/ hands-on place-based lessons in the garden.  (In fact, the building design includes an exterior trellised area with a mini-amphitheatre for students to gather for lessons.)  But during construction, the work area is very close to the 3/4-acre organic learning garden and we had agreed early on to relocate key trees.  Very TLC by the construction crew and a very cooperative relationship day to day, several of whom attended Waimea school!  

September 2015 Update:  Goundbreaking Held Sept. 9; Construction Begins Officially Sept. 14, 2015!

West Hawai'i Today News Feature On Groundbreaking:

August 2015 Update:  Please Join Us!

Our Entire Waimea Community Is Cordially Invited To Celebrate Groundbreaking

For Waimea Middle School’s 9-Classroom STEM Building!

Wed., Sept. 9, 2015 - 12:45-1:15 p.m.

Program To Include Protocol Chant By Waimea Middle School Students,

An Expression Of Deep Gratitude To Our Project Partners,

& Turning Of The Earth Led By Waimea Leaders Of Tomorrow


Please arrive early  - enter campus through the back gate and park on the field, then walk to the nearby project site next to our Mala’ai School Garden.  

Please wear comfortable shoes and bring weather protection.  No RSVP - please just come


Interim Principal Amy Kendziorski (808) 464-9902

Waimea Middle School: (808) 887-6090 Ext. 221


Firmly planting Waimea Middle School's long time dream of a 9-Classroom STEM Building are (L-R) 7th grader Emily Souza, DOE Facilities Project Coordinator Ron Hagino, Calvin Nishio and Susan Irvine, both AIAs w/ Architects Pacific, which not only designed the building but oversaw preparation of the Environmental Assessment, which included engineering, landscaping, archaeological studies, and much more; 8th grader Kawehi Bell-Kaopuiki, DAGS Project Inspector Werner Zindric, Project Contractor Leslie Isemoto w/ Isemoto Contracting, 8th grader Silas Sylva, Ho'okako'o Corp. Board Chair Joe Uno, 7th grader Marques Kahawaii, WMS LAP Chair Colin Miura, Kahu Billy Mitchell, Rep. Cindy Evans, WMS long time educator and grant writer Pat Rice, Ho'okako'o Corp. Development Director David Gibson, Sen. Lorraine Inouye, 6th grader Brody Duff, Ho'okako'o Board Member Dr. Ken Fischer, 6th grader Nya Schara, Rep. Clift Tsuji, WMS Community Liaison Patti Cook, The Neilan Foundation's Gail Gimbel, DOE's Hamakua-Kohala Complex ASA Carol Yurth, WMS Principal Amy Kendziorski, Hawaii Public Charter School Commission Executive Director Tom Hutton, WMS LAP Community Representatives Jane Sherwood and Keawe Vredenburg.  September 9, 2015.

Pre-Construction meeting Wed., Aug. 12 - the work has just begun!     

L-R: Mala'ai garden team leaders Amanda Rieux and Holly Sargeant-Green, DAGS Project Engineer Miles Tagawa, WMS Community Liaison Patti Cook, Isemoto Contracting's Dave Hariguchi, DOE Facilities Project Coordinator Ron Hagino, DAGS Project Inspector Werner Zindric, Architects Pacific AIA's Susan Irvine and Calvin Nishio (both sitting), WMS Interim Principal Amy Kendziorski, WMS Project Advisor Ken Melrose, DOE Hamakua-Kohala Complex ASA Carol Yurth and WMS Head Custodian Warren Tamaye. (And this doesn't include all the subs!)  

July 24, 2015 Update: 

The building permit application for the project was approved by the County and the building permit is ready for issuance.  The General Contractor was informed of this.

A "Notice to Proceed" to the General Contractor will need to be issued by the DOE Construction Management Section prior to proceeding with the designated work.

Ron Hagino, Architect & Project Coordinator

DOE, Project Management Section

May 2015 Update: 

The project has been awarded to Isemoto Contracting for its $11.8 million low bid.  

April 2015 Update:

Final Environmental Assessment - Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

March 2015 Update:

January 2015 Update:

Eight contractors submitted bids by Dec. 19 bid opening deadline.  DOE Facilities staff must review bids before awarding, but low bid was $11.8M.  This is good news because DOE will require that they set aside a 5% contingency, or about $600,000, for unexpected events, which brings the job up to $12.4.  WMS has $13.4M “in the pot” after DOE took out their management fees and additional contract work was funded re: (1) temporary access road to back (south side) of project site and adding a staging area as far removed from students/staff as possible; (2) 2nd electrical meter for campus, (3) requested PV on new building, and (4) rainwater catchment.  

This means we still have approx. $1M to cover items #2-3-4, which would be handled as “change orders” in that order.  

Michael Shigetani has been DOE’s lead facilities staff person on this project; he has now retired, so project has been handed over to Ronald Hagino, who has an excellent reputation.  

Anticipated start date: June 2015.  It’s a 400-day job. 

November 2014 Update:

DOE Facilities Staff Schedules STEM Building Pre-Bid Meeting Thurs., Nov. 6 - 10 a.m. - WMS Campus/W-Lounge;

Bid Opening Deferred to Friday, December 19, 2014  

To see project notice, go to:

Once on website, scan down to the 6th posting please.  Scroll to bottom of page to review project Draft Environmental Assessment (Completed July 2014).  

* * * * *

June 2014 Update:

Mahalo To Our Governor & Legislators - Rep. Cindy Evans, Sen. Malama Solomon!  

$15M For New 9-Classroom Science-Tech Building! 

West Hawai'i Today News Feature - June 7, 2014:

To: WMS Students, Families, Faculty, Staff, Partners & Community Friends:

We have some astounding, great news to share.  The 2014 State Legislature has authorized an additional $9.89 million -- to be added to the $5 million they appropriated in 2013 to start construction of our long-dreamed of 9-classroom Science-Technology Building.  Yes, that's a total of almost $15 million!

We are deeply grateful to our legislators – Rep. Cindy Evans and Sen. Malama Solomon for their persistence and support!  We also thank the House and Senate money committees and Gov. Neil Abercrombie who has now released the entire sum - $14.89 million to get us rolling!   

This really should be viewed as both recognition of need and a pat on the back to each of our faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication, and also to their willingness to continue to raise the academic bar for our students as we prepare them for the 21st century world and workplace.

We ask everyone to convey your gratitude to our Legislators and share our excitement with family and friends@  

To send a mahalo note to our legislators, please use the following emails:

Senator Malama Solomon:

Representative Cindy Evans:

Governor Abercrombie visited WMS on April 29, 2014 -- the very same day the 2014 Legislature voted to finalized the biennium 
budget which includes nearly $15 million for our 9-Classroom Science-Technology Building!

The DOE/DAGS facilities planning team meets with WMS admin and staff and project architects, engineers and planners - 2014.

According to Environmental Assessment documents prepared in November 2011:

"The purpose of the new classroom building is to replace existing science classrooms with modern classrooms and laboratories and to provide spaces designed as computer laboratories. The spaces currently used for these classes are not adequate to meet the teaching needs of the current enrollment. Although identified as 8 classrooms, during the planning process, by downsizing some of the original planned spaces, a total of 9 classrooms are planned for the building. Preliminary plans show a 2-story "L"-shaped building to contain:

1) four general classrooms;

2) three science laboratories;

3) two computer laboratories;

4) two teacher planning rooms,

5) a faculty center, conference room and restroom facilities.

The building foot-print will be approximately 12,000 square feet. The 2-story building will contain about 24,000 square feet and would be approximately 36 feet high at the ridge. The design would be similar to the other buildings on campus. A walkway will connect the building to the remainder of the campus."

Sen. Malama Solomon and Rep. Cindy Evans attended a Waimea Community Association Town Meeting where WMS students presented their case for securing final full CIP funding for a 21st century STEM building - January 2014. 

WMS Principal Matt Horne shares the need for a 9-classroom science-technology building w/ U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.  February 2013.

House Finance Committee Chaired by Rep. Sylvia Luke visited WMS to learn about proposed STEM classroom building July 2013. 

House Finance Chair Rep. Sylvia Luke and staff talk with WMS 6th graders about the lack of adequate science and technology facilities for 21st century learning - July 2013. 

State Senate Ways & Means Committee Chaired by then Sen. David Ige visit WMS to discuss proposed STEM classroom building.  August 2013. 

WMS Students accompanied by then Principal Pat Rice, Teachers Tisha Gusman and Ellen Cordeiro and Community Liaison Patti Cook present petitions to Sen. Lorraine Inouye - 2007. 

WMS Students gather signatures on their petition asking the Legislature to fund a STEM Building for Waimea students - 2007. 

WMS Student Akahai Lazarus speaks from the heart to members of the State House Finance Committee Chaired then by Rep. Dwight Takamine during a site visit in 2005.  

WMS 8th graders Zen Kuriyama and Akahai Lazarus share the urgency of improved science-technology facilities for Waimea students during Legislative site visit in 2005.