A long-awaited dream is moving closer to reality with the groundbreaking of Windward Community College’s new Hānaiaulu Childcare Center on March 7.
The project, which Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Ardis Eschenberg says is a “vehicle to increase education for Koʻolaupoko and Koʻolauloa for generations to come,” is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. The Hawaiian immersion childcare center is anticipated to serve up to six infants and eight toddlers, and is exclusive to Windward CC students.
“If a mother earns her degree, her children are all more likely to earn their degrees, which in turn means that the next generation is more likely, and on and on. Maternal education is the largest predictor of higher education attainment for an individual,” said Eschenberg. “This project will address a gap both in the Windward community, where infant and toddler care facilities are scarce, and at Windward Community College—the only community college in Hawaiʻi lacking a childcare center.”
“So many people have worked together to make this childcare center project become a reality,” said Windward CC Chancellor Doug Dykstra. “We are so fortunate to have received this funding, as Windward CC students desperately need a childcare center.”
Attend the Hānaiaulu Lūʻau: A Benefit for Hānaiaulu Childcare Center on May 6, 5–10 p.m. at the Windward CC’s Hale Aʻo.
To help offset expenses for interior furnishings, books, supplies and special needs equipment for infants and toddlers, the college is hosting a benefit lūʻau with Hawaiian food, entertainment and a special silent auction (bidding closes at 7:30 p.m.).
Tickets are $55 and can be purchased at wccluau.eventbrite.com. RSVP by April 30. For questions, call Dorene Niibu at (808) 235-7402.
More about the Hānaiaulu Childcare Center
Designed by KYA Design Group, construction will include the renovation and modification of portions of the existing Hale ʻĀkoakoa building encompassing space currently occupied by two existing conference rooms comprising 1,062 square feet; and adjacent outdoor space of 2,218 square feet at the southwestern end of the building. The Hānaiaulu Childcare Center will include a childcare main area (1,450 square-feet), welcome area/lānai extension (530 square-feet), lānai area (330 square-feet) and an outdoor play area (970 square-feet).
The UH Community Colleges Office of Facilities and Environmental Health was instrumental in putting this project together under the leadership of Director Denise Yoshimori-Yamamoto and Architect/Project Manager Ray Teramae. General Contractor S&M Sakamoto, Inc. will build the facility.
The U.S. Department of Education Title III Grant Project award totaling $9.9 million over five years will be used in part to build the childcare center and renovate STEM learning environments at Windward. The grant was written as a result of the diligent efforts in needs assessment and planning by the Windward CC Student Parent Group and Natural Sciences department, coordinated by Eschenberg, Kumu Tuti Kanahele and Ke Kumu Pali, Windward CC’s Native Hawaiian Advisory Council.
Those responsible for the planning of childcare center efforts include Student Parent Group members Michelle Kam, Francine Vierra, Crystal Kamahalohanuilai, Sheila Sarsuela, Natajah Kekawa-Maynes, Joel Harding, Tanti Septiani, Lehua You, Nolan Brown, Tevi Tolentino, Kekai Edayan and Kehaulani Pelekai.