Queen Lydia Liliuokalani Elementary School held its final exercises Thursday before closing its doors for good — a year shy of what would have been the school’s 100th birthday.
The school was dedicated by the queen herself, but fell victim to efficiency and economics this year when the Hawaii Department of Education recommended redistributing its 100 students into nearby schools. The department expects to save about $270,000 per year with the consolidation. (The Department of Education operates a $1.9 billion annual budget, not counting another $250 million in employee benefits.)
The battle between the school community and the department was bitter, but QLS became Hawaii’s third public school to close in the last three years. Eight others have escaped from the chopping block, but the assistant superintendent of school facilities predicts more will close as the department turns toward complexes in the more densely-populated Honolulu.