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After more than four decades the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu has its own campus and is officially open for classes.

“The classrooms, the library and everything is new so it makes me feel like a fresh start in life,” said West Oʻahu freshman Joyce Gail Jumalon.

“It’s really great,” agreed fellow freshman Jaryn Shinn. “It’s nice and the classes are brand new and everything so it’s great being here.”

“It’s exciting,” said sophomore Kasandra Puahala. “I still feel like a freshman, because it’s a new campus, a new exploration.”

About 2,000 students are attending UH West Oʻahu during the first fall semester on the new campus grounds.

Five new buildings were completed over the last two years including a new campus center and school cafeteria and a 100,000 square feet of classroom and laboratory space with state of the art equipment. There’s also the Great Lawn, about four acres of green grass, where students can gather, eat, study and socialize.

“It’s so green and wide open,” said West Oʻahu freshman Jeremieh Husley. “It just looks so surreal how windy and nice it looks.”

West Oʻahu’s library and resource center is now a new landmark in Kapolei thanks to its stunning architecture. More importantly, the two-story, 60,000 square foot structure is the heart of the new campus.

“This is not just a space but this is a place for the students to hang out, to meet up with there friends, to collaborate on projects to even take a nap if they have some break time between their class times,” said Interim Library Director Sarah Gilman.

UH West Oʻahu is the only public four-year university located in the leeward Oʻahu area and though 40 years in the making, this is still just the beginning. The students that are here now say they are honored to be a part of it.

“We’re like the trailblazers of the new campus, so I am very excited to be in this class, the class of 2016,” said Husley.

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