Kamehameha School New “Gathering Place” to Serve Maui County Region
Kamehameha Schools held a blessing to celebrate the opening of its new Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i regional office and community resource center in downtown Wailuku after completing renovations.
“This new regional office creates an opportunity for Kamehameha Schools to lay down deeper roots and connections in this community,” said Kā‘eo Duarte, Vice President of Community Engagement and Resources. “With a location closer to Native Hawaiian families and educational partners, we look forward to working side-by-side with this region’s stakeholders to work toward educational success for keiki and a thriving lāhui.”
The fee simple property, the site of the former Wailuku Federal Credit Union, is at 175 Market Street and includes a 2,688 sq. ft. single-story building constructed in 1972 that sits on a land area of 15,987 sq. ft. The site had been vacant for two years.
The location is a half-mile from the Hawaiian homestead community of Paukūkalo, the location of two KS preschool classrooms, and two miles from the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ homestead of Waiehu Kou – with four subdivisions and a large native Hawaiian community. Hawaiian agencies and organizations such as DHHL, ʻAha Pūnana Leo o Maui, the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center and government offices are all within a mile of this location. Community events held in Wailuku on Market Street will provide KS with a venue to highlight its services and programs, and those of partners and collaborators.
“Our community staff and services on Maui are now under one hale, in a convenient one-stop center to serve our Hawaiian families,” said Venus Rosete-Medeiros, Regional Director for Maui County which also includes Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i. “We are excited at the prospect of keiki and ʻohana using this multi-purpose space in an effort to engage community and partners so that we are able to better serve Native Hawaiians and our education and community partners.”
Among the community collaborators attending the blessing were Greg Dela Cruz, senior pastor of Living Way Church Maui in nearby Happy Valley who also participated in the blessing ceremony. Dela Cruz is also an instructor Kamalama, a Hawaiian values-based parent education program. “For the past seven months, we’ve been involved in this project funded by Kamehameha Schools for our parenting curriculum, taking it to Moloka ‘i, Lāna‘i and extending our reach on the island of Maui as well to Hāna, Kīhei and Lahaina. We’ve touched dozens of people with this class,” Dela Cruz said.
Another community collaborator, Kau‘i Kanaka‘ole, executive director of the non-profit Ala Kukui, a retreat center in Hāna, also attended the event. “We work to create opportunities for people to have connections – deep spiritual connections and cultural connections – between themselves and the environment and other people around them,” Kanaka‘ole said. “Kamehameha Schools has utilized our retreat center for its summer and intercession programs so it’s been a partnership where we have provided the space and connection to community and children in a safe environment.”
The KS Regional office will house 10-12 staff serving the Maui community in the following areas:
One-stop shop for families needing information and support regarding all KS campus and non-campus programs and services, including assistance for financial aid and admissions.
Community programs, post-high and K-Scholars during the summer and interim school breaks.
‘Āina Engagement –touchpoint for ʻāina-related issues and information for Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi.
Career & Post High Counseling & Guidance – Providing workshops, counseling and internship opportunities for students.