In 1915 the Gilbert Lee family donated an acre of land to the Territory of Hawaii for use “in the education of village children” and in 1918 this one room building was built. Named “Keakealani School”, honoring the Lee daughter. All sixteen of the students, none with shoes, are shown above. Later 2.25 acres of additional land was donated and in 1936 a two room building was constructed to replace the original which remains in use today, and is now a State Historic Landmark.
The project to vastly expand the facilities at the Keakealani site, while retaining and respecting the historic school building, was a major effort. With classrooms for students from pre-school through eighth grade, the 3.25 acre site was severely strained. With the 27,000 square feet of new structures and the historic building room was still available for a central “court” onto which all the spaces front. In addition to the classrooms a gym/cafeteria, administration building and commercial kitchen are also included.
The design takes inspiration from the historic building and others of the same era in Volcano Village helping this major element of new construction blend into the community.
Construction documents are completed and now await funding.