VIDEO: First Phase of New South Maui Park Opens
By Wendy Osher
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpGpMxUeZkY /] The first phase of the South Maui Park in Kihei opened today. Phase 1A encompasses nearly 20 acres of the 45 acre parcel and includes a soccer field, softball/baseball field with lights, 2 restrooms, a playground, jogging path, picnic tables and 113 parking stalls.
Mayor Alan Arakawa said the park was long overdue for the Kihei community, which began asking for their own park in the late 1980s.
“This has been the work of four administrations now to be able to put this package together,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa during today’s blessing. “It takes an entire community to be able to create something like this park–and it’s going to take an entire community to be able to utilize this park in the way that we really need to be able to utilize it,” he said.
South Maui Council Member Don Couch said he remembers seeing the plans when he was working for the Mayor 6-7 years ago. “I want to thank the previous council for funding it; I want to thank all of the administrations for having the vision to see this through; and I would like to ask that the current council and the current administration continue. This is just Phase 1A–we still have Phase 1B, (Phase)2, and (Phase)3,” said Couch.
“We want to finish this off to make it the jewel of South Maui,” said Couch.
The 44.8-acre project is bounded by Kihei Elementary to the North, the Kihei Recycling and Redemption Center to the South, the Piilani Highway to the East, and the future North-South Collector Road to the West.
The total build out of the project is master planned and will be completed in future phases with plans for more fields, play courts, a gymnasium and a youth center. “The next phase will include a gym and more ball fields and soccer fields,” said Patrick Matsui, Deputy Director of the Maui Department of Parks and Recreation.
The first phase used 75,600 man hours, with an average of 85 employees on the site during the peak of construction. The cost of phase 1A was estimated at $11 million dollars. That price does not include an estimated $200,000 worth of playground equipment, including the rubber safety surface, which was donated and installed by Pyramid Project Management, the Grand Wailea and other volunteers. Maui Land & Pine also donated park trees.
“Many of you know that this was keawe grounds–we were able to clear it, utilize a lot of that clearing and that substrate right below,” said Ray Skelton, Regional Manager of Goodfellow Bros., Inc.
Also in addition to that, Goodfellows was able to process the on-site rock material that saved 7900 truckloads from being hauled off the site, and eliminated 3700 truckloads of material from being hauled in. “All-in-all, by processing and utilizing the native materials… we were able to save that many cycles of pollutants and disruption to the traffic on the road,” said Skelton.
The park is also irrigated through reclaimed water. Crews utilized a little over 25 million gallons of that water in the construction, and growing the grass that is present today.
The County broke ground on the park during the Tavares Administration in December 2009. During construction of the park, crews had to do extra work to repair $5,000 worth of vandalism and damage reported in mid-March. The South Maui Park was originally scheduled to open in June.
“This is where we’re going to have our children play–the children that are going to build our community for tomorrow,” said Mayor Arakawa. “As Kihei grows its facilities must grow with it. We hope children of all ages will enjoy this park for generations to come.” he said.