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inside the A C M building
©Gensler/Ryan Gobuty

The Academy for Creative Media (ACM) facility at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu has received a slew of design awards for its creativity, high quality of work overall and positive impact on the community.

The facility received honors from the Building Industry Association of Hawaii, AIA Honolulu, NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association Hawaii Chapter, International Interior Design Association Hawaiʻi Pacific Chapter, GCA of Hawaii and Engineering News Record. The $33.3 million, 40,000-plus foot design-build contract for the structure was awarded to Kiewit Building Group. The architect of record is Honolulu-based Next Design LLC. UH Office of Project Delivery Project Manager Brandon Shima, ACM System Founder and Director Chris Lee and UH West Oʻahu Director of Planning Bonnie Arakawa oversaw the project on behalf of UH.

A C M building
©Gensler/Ryan Gobuty

The creative media facility at UH West Oʻahu consists of production spaces that include a two-story sound stage for filming, multi-purpose lobby, 100-seat theater with Dolby Atmos mixing capability, Foley stage for sound reproduction, editing suites, sound mixing suites, digital intermediate color grading, eSports Arena, incubator for student-run companies, outdoor amphitheater, emerging media lab, and mill shop to create film sets and equipment cages. The ACM facility will link complementary facilities and programs throughout the 10 UH campuses and across the state as a catalyst for Hawaiʻi’s intellectual property workforce.

“This was very much a team effort, particularly as this was one of UH’s first design/build projects,” said Lee. “Major kudos go to Kiewit’s Alika Fujimoto, Next Design’s Stanford Lee, and AV Consultant Sextant Group’s Mark Grassi, their colleagues, and all of their vendors for bringing the project in on time and on budget in spite of COVID protocols. On the UH side, Brandon Shima and Bonnie Arakawa and UH West Oʻahu ACM Director Sharla Hanaoka were there every step of the way of design and construction. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the funding of the state legislature and the governor. The ACM facility at UH West Oʻahu is truly the hub for creative media education in Hawaiʻi and offers our students industry standard production capabilities second to none.”

UH West Oʻahu’s Creative Media program embraces digital media literacy and storytelling as experienced through video, animation, video games, design, social media, web and app development, virtual and augmented reality, and other new forms of media communication and design through concentrations in communication and new media technologies, design and media, game design and development, and general creative media.

“This space is imagination’s newest playground and solidifies everyone’s hard work from building the degree program, academic articulations and the actual facility for future generations,” said Hanaoka.

Read more in Ka Puna O Kaloʻi.

—By Leila Wai Shimokawa

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