University of Hawai‘i—West O‘ahu takes next step toward development of new Kapolei campus

Agreement between UH and Hunt Building Corporation on letter of intent reached; the contemplated transaction will generate funds for first phase of construction

University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu
Kalowena Komeiji, (808) 454-4824
UH West Oʻahu
Carolyn Tanaka, (808) 956-9803
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Mar 15, 2007

HONOLULU — A quarter century dream to build a new University of Hawaiʻi campus in Oʻahu‘s ʻEwa Plain took a critical step forward when agreement on a letter of intent was reached last week between the University of Hawaiʻi and Hunt Building Corporation.

The letter of intent signals Hunt‘s intention to purchase 298 acres of the university‘s 500-acre Kapolei site in fee simple, at a purchase price of $100.14 million, and will enable the first phase of construction for the new campus, estimated at $135 million, to proceed. The remaining $35 million is being requested from the Hawaiʻi State Legislature this session.

"When it comes to higher education access opportunities, we know that the rapidly-growing West Oʻahu region is the most underserved of any in our state. We‘re looking forward to expanding the reach of UH into these communities," said University of Hawaiʻi President David McClain.

"When the new campus opens its doors in 2009, it will fulfill the dream of many ʻEwa and Leeward Oʻahu families who have lobbied for a West Oʻahu campus for the past three decades," said UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Gene Awakuni. "We‘re excited by the opportunity to be of greater service to the residents of this region."

"We are proud to be part of this historic endeavor to help complete the vision of a West Oʻahu campus as part of a thriving ʻsecond city,‘ creating hundreds of new jobs and stimulating social and economic growth to the area," said Steve Colon, President, Hawaiʻi Division, Hunt Development Group LP. "We are deeply committed to ensuring the new campus — as well as the new community that will surround it — will be a place that all Hawaiʻi residents will be enormously proud of."

When fully completed, the UH West Oʻahu campus will serve approximately 7,500 students and 1,000 faculty and staff. UH West Oʻahu has begun the transition from an upper division, two-year program to a four-year baccalaureate program to make higher education more readily accessible to underserved youth and residents in West Oʻahu. The new West Oʻahu campus is also expected to help alleviate traffic congestion on Oʻahu‘s roads from the west side to downtown Honolulu and Mānoa Valley. Students, faculty and staff will be encouraged to walk, bike or use fixed rail to school or work.

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