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Hale`ōlelo, is the new home of the University of Hawai`i at Hilo’s Ka Haka
`Ula O Ke`elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language.
“The faculty and staff of Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikōlani has worked long and hard to establish the College as a leader in indigenous language and cultural revitalization,” said Chancellor Don Straney. “At long last, they have a permanent home in a facility that is worthy of the quality programs that have earned them international recognition.”
The $21 million complex on Nowelo Street features spectacular landscape, mountain and ocean views and designs that reflect native Hawaiian culture and Hawaiʻi Island’s natural resources that tie together the naming of the College and the building where it resides.
“The high roof design was inspired by the pili grass thatched home of Princess Ruth Ke`elikōlani, for whom the building of the College is named,” explained Dr. Larry Kimura, assistant professor, Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikōlani. “Her home, on the grounds of Hulihe`e Palace in Kailua-Kona, was known as Hale`ōlelo, or House of Language, which now becomes the home for the College of Hawaiian Language.”
In addition to being a cultural and architectural landmark, the two-story complex is also a highly functional facility, spanning 36,760 square feet. Among its key features is a Performing Arts Auditorium that can be sub-divided. Special-use rooms include a library, curriculum and media resource room, tutorial, archive and telecom conference rooms, a computer lab, student and faculty meeting rooms, and 30 offices.
More importantly, Hale`ōlelo consolidates most of the College’s programs and operations formerly scattered throughout the campus while providing needed infrastructure to address the needs brought about by its growth and development. Since achieving collegiate status in 1997, it has experienced a surge in enrollment while introducing new degrees that produced UH Hilo’s first Master’s and Ph.D. recipients.
“It’s been a long time coming, but the wait has been worth it,” noted Keiki Kawai`ae`a, director, Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikōlani “This facility addresses many of our growing pains, and will enable expansion of our graduate and undergraduate programs in increasingly impactful ways for our State. We want to thank everyone throughout the community who supported this initiative and made it a reality.”
Get an inside peek of the building: Hale`ōlelo video.
Source: UH Hilo News Release
The ALEX Mentorship program is actively recruiting mentors and mentees (students) who will be matched based on their professional and personal interests. This of course includes faculty and staff members at UH Hilo, who through mentoring can not only provide valuable insights into their respective career fields, but also realize the sense of fulfillment that comes along with serving as a mentor to an undergraduate student. Please submit your application to the ALEX Mentorship Program today!