A dedication ceremony was held on Thursday, August 9 for the newly renovated International Gateway House. The two-tower residence hall on the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus underwent a $12 million upgrade that finished on time and on budget.

“It’s really going to be an opportunity for students to be transformed,” said UH Mānoa Chancellor Tom Apple. “To find their passion here.”

Apple, Governor Neil Abercrombie and dozens of UH Mānoa students, faculty, staff and supporters were on hand for the dedication and blessing, and the tours that followed. They got to see the upgrades firsthand including a redesigned lobby and front desk, completely remodeled rooms and new public areas such as study lounges on each floor and kitchens in each tower.

“It will support living, learning communities, where the students are,” said Apple. “They study but they also cooperate and collaborate.”

Many of the 218 students who will call Gateway home during the fall semester are happy to be the first to experience the newly renovated housing complex.

“I am excited that it is brand new and getting to see a sneak peek of the building is actually really cool,” said UH Mānoa student Katelyn Asato.

“I am very excited,” agreed fellow student Darrick Dickerson. “I feel like it’s going to be a wonderful new opportunity for a lot of students to be indulged and have some new resources.”

Governor Abercrombie used the opportunity to stress UH’s importance to the state and his commitment to the university.

“The University of Hawaiʻi has played a central role in the lives and fortunes of literally hundreds of thousands of people over the years, before statehood and most certainly after,” said the governor during the ceremony. “I want you to know that there is an individual who bleeds green and is totally committed to the advancement of this university.”

With the completion of Gateway, 60 percent of the nearly 4,000 students that live on campus will be residing in brand new or recently renovated buildings.