In fall 2008, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa welcomed students to the campus’s first new residence hall since the last Hale Aloha towers were completed in 1973.
Frear Hall accommodates 810 residents in single and multiple bedroom units in twin 12-story towers. It also offers recreational areas, a conference room and study lounges, closed circuit TV and air conditioning.
The $71 million project developed by Texas-based American Campus Communities incorporates sustainable technologies to conserve water and energy.
Like the 1952 144-bed women’s dorm it replaced along Dole Street, the dorm is named for Mary Dillingham Frear, territorial first lady and UH regent (1920–43). The Frears bequeathed $15,000 to UH for its library, but they weren’t wealthy, noted Sharon McPhee, chair of the Frear trust distribution committee. Setting aside what she didn’t need created the trust; final distribution in 2008 created a scholarship for UH students.
“It’s about what people who really care and in any small way can do,” McPhee told the crowd gathered for the building dedication in August, about a week before students began moving in.
In other student housing developments at Mānoa, Gateway Cafeteria has been renovated with expanded seating and room for activities. Modernization projects are slated for Hale Aloha, Hale Noelani and Hale Wainani.
Also, residential learning programs now group students to floors based on similar majors or interests, from business to outdoor recreation.
Information at the housing website.