The state would be able to spend more than $3.4 billion on new projects, repairs and maintenance over the next two years under a capital improvement project budget Senate and House finance leaders signed off on on Thursday.
The state is preparing a huge investment in transportation improvements, including $170 million for the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport’s new mauka concourse and $172 million for airfield improvements at airports statewide. An additional $199 million is slated for state harbors, according to a press release issued by House Finance chair Sylvia Luke’s office.
Educational facilities at the University of Hawaii are another major recipient of state spending in this budget. The budget calls for $41 million to renovate Sinclair Library at the Manoa campus and another $38 million for improvements to the parking structure there.
House and Senate finance negotiators have settled on a $3.4 billion spending plan for the next two years.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
The list prepared by Luke’s office also included millions of dollars for building and refurbishing public schools statewide, including $23 million for Haaheo Elementary School on the Big Island, $5.5 million at Highlands Intermediate School on Oahu, $6 million for Kahului Elementary School on Maui and $2.6 million for Kapaa High School on Kauai.
Almost $20 million will go for design and construction of a new gymnasium with locker rooms and other facilities at Roosevelt High School.
A 2015 environmental assessment described the outdated current sports facility at Roosevelt as an “open playcourt” built in 1939, to which a roof was added in the early 1960s. Restroom facilities were reported to be substandard.
Locker rooms for girls are being added at a number of schools, including Aiea High School, Kaimuki High School, Maui High School, Mililani High School and Waianae High School.
An expansion at East Kapolei Middle School will cost $20 million.
Kahuku Medical Center will receive $1.5 million for improvements and renovations.
The state will pay $1.25 million twice, in two separate appropriations, to replace the groin to retain sand on the beach in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
The budget includes $15.2 million for the state to acquire land at Mililani Tech Park for a community arts and theater center.
No money has been appropriated so far for the construction of a new correctional facility, despite years of criticism of overcrowding and poor conditions in Hawaii’s state jails and prisons.
But $8 million has been set aside for the Maui Community Correctional Center, the locus of a recent inmate riot that state Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda blamed on overcrowding.
In addition, two separate appropriations totaling $18 million are earmarked to upgrade and improve public safety department buildings.
About $4.5 million will be spent for upgrades and improvements at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery.
The state will provide $8.75 million to build a water reservoir at the Lamalilo Water System on the Big Island. Hawaii island is expected to provide some matching funds toward the project.
Sign up for our FREE morning newsletter and face each day more informed.
Will you help us?
There are upsides to being a nonprofit as we carry out our public-service mission. We don’t have a paywall on our site, charge a subscription fee, or clutter our articles with ads. But this also means that reader support sustains every aspect of what we do. Without you, we don’t exist. It’s as simple as that. By donating, you’re supporting everyone on staff—and allowing unbiased, investigative journalism to thrive. If you value our work, will you make a tax-deductible donation today?
Kirstin Downey is a reporter for Honolulu Civil Beat. A former Washington Post reporter and author of several books, she splits her time between Hawaii and Washington, D.C. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org