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UH Hilo Interim Chancellor's Blog Posts

Interim Chancellor’s Monthly Column: Giving students an environment where they can thrive

In response to student requests for more recreational areas and covered outdoor gathering places on campus, several projects were completed over the summer.

Two students playing ball on the new court.
An old outdoor basketball court was refurbished and renamed Pu‘uli‘i (“the hill”) complete with an area to grill food and hang out at covered picnic tables with solar powered recharging stations, USB ports, and Wi-Fi access.

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo community starts the fall semester with exciting new amenities for students to enjoy and several capital improvements in the works.

Places for students to gather

In response to student requests for more recreational areas and covered outdoor gathering places on campus, several projects were completed over the summer.

An old outdoor basketball court was refurbished and renamed Pu‘uli‘i (“the hill”) complete with an area to grill food and hang out at covered picnic tables with solar powered recharging stations, USB ports, and Wi-Fi access. Several other recharging stations were built near main hubs around campus: the Student Services building, the College of Business and Economics, and at bus shelters near the UH Hilo Bookstore and the main entrance to UH Hilo campus.

The projects were supported by the Office of the Chancellor and the Office of Administrative Affairs.

The tradition of doing summer projects was started by Kolin Kettleson, retired UH Hilo director of auxiliary services, and Gene Harada, a professor at the Hawai‘i Community College carpentry program. Construction is done by carpentry students, and over the years, the collaborative effort has provided a wealth of cost effective campus improvements at UH Hilo while also giving the carpentry students valuable hands-on summer work experience.

There are also several capital improvement projects underway:

Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy

Everything is on track with the new Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy building. Construction began in Sept. 2016 and is about 75 percent complete with a target completion date of May 2019. The project was extended with the allocation of additional funds in FY 2018 to use for audio/visual updates to the building. The updates required some additional design work so that installation can be fully integrated with the original design. Metal roofing installation is ongoing. We are truly looking forward to completion of this project!

Air conditioning and other improvements

Our Life Science Building complex is being substantially renovated with roofing, ventilation and air conditioning, electrical, and lab renovations. ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s AC system is also currently under renovation to replace non-working components—this includes the planetarium, exhibit hall, main office, and restaurant. Likewise, College Hall is getting new air conditioning units, a project that will start later this fall.

A larger AC project is the Chilled Water Plant renovation that includes the replacement of the chiller and pump system for a main AC unit serving Mookini Library, Edith Kanaka‘ole Hall, the College of Business and Economics building, and Hawai‘i Community College Business Education and Technology and Computing Center. This project also involves repairs to the chilled water loop that runs throughout campus. The projected completion is later this month.

Sustainability

An AC project at Hale Alahonua residence hall is the first of its kind for our campus—the project will include solar power in the design, with a battery storage system, so essentially it will be a self-contained net-zero system. The project was appropriated $6 million by the State Legislature.

Two other sustainable projects—the Energy Storage Project and the Green Waste to Energy Project—involve the construction of an Energy Storage Device to manage peak electrical demand. Work is taking place near the Sciences and Technology Building. The project began in August 2017 and is ongoing, expected to be completed in the next couple of months.

UH Hilo is already a leader in the UH System on sub-metering and baseline data recording, bi-level lighting, energy requirements in design contracts, a reinvestment account, and Hawai‘i Energy Rebates, so the solar AC, Energy Storage, and Green Waste to Energy projects keep us on the leading edge of creating a truly sustainable campus.

Performing arts

Repairs and renovations are underway at the portable buildings that house music classes and the testing center, with completion expected this month. Auxiliary Services has already moved the music rehearsal room back into the building, and will work with the music faculty on the remaining moves.

Maunakea

On Maunakea, the Office of Maunakea Management is overseeing renovation and infrastructure improvements. The ongoing project provides design and construction for infrastructure improvements and renovation within UH’s managed lands on Maunakea, including mid-level facilities at Hale Pohaku, the summit access road, and the Mauna Kea Science Reserve. A current project is site improvements to the Mauna Kea Visitor Center’s parking area.

I mua!

Marcia Sakai
Interim Chancellor, UH Hilo

Message from Interim Chancellor Sakai: Mahalo to UH Hilo staff and administrators for service during Hurricane Lane

Thank you all for being part of the UH Hilo ‘ohana and for our shared commitments to each other.

UH Hilo seal, red lettering University of Hawaii and the state motto.Aloha,

On behalf of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, I’d like to express our deepest appreciation to all the staff and administrators who pulled together and worked tirelessly before, during, and after the campus closure and enabled UH Hilo to be up and operational once again.

The positive manner and teamwork by you and others to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff and the timely communication updates helped to alleviate the anxiety that such an emergency can create.

Thank you all for being part of the UH Hilo ‘ohana and for our shared commitments to each other.

Mahalo,

Marcia Sakai
Interim Chancellor

Interim Chancellor’s Message on changes to Nā Pua Noʻeau program

No longer a statewide organization based at UH Hilo, the mission and vision of Nā Pua Noʻeau will now be integrated into campus programs at UH Hilo, UH Mānoa, UH Maui College, Kaua‘i Community College and UH West O‘ahu.

Aloha UH Hilo ‘Ohana,

Green leaf logo with the words UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII Nā Pua Noʻeau Center for Gifted and Talent Native Hawaiian ChildrenI would like to acknowledge and thank all Nā Pua Noʻeau employees for their years of service to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Last week, the University of Hawai‘i System announced the integration of the Nā Pua Noʻeau Center for Gifted and Talent Native Hawaiian Children mission and vision into campus programs at UH Hilo, UH Mānoa, UH Maui College, Kaua‘i Community College and UH West O‘ahu:

Employees of will now report directly to the campuses where they are located.

We are pleased to have Nina Segawa, Administrative/Fiscal Officer transitioning to Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center , and Raymond Busniewski, Information Technology Specialist, transitioning to Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language after closeout activities are completed.

Please direct any questions regarding Na Pua Noeau to Farrah-Marie Gomes, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Mahalo,

Marcia Sakai
Interim Chancellor

UH asking for public input on Maunakea rules for public and commercial activities; hearings scheduled

The public is strongly encouraged to participate in the process as the testimony will be taken into consideration as the rules are finalized.

The University of Hawaiʻi invites the public to provide input on the proposed draft of the administrative rules that will govern public and commercial activities on UH-managed lands on Maunakea—Chapter 20–26, Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules. Testimony may be submitted in four ways up until the end of the last noticed hearing:

  1.  Online at the UH Government Relations website;
  2. Via email at uhhar@hawaii.edu;
  3. In writing to UH Government Relations Office, 2442 Campus Road, Administrative Services Building 1-101, Honolulu, HI, 96822; and/or
  4. In person at one of four public hearings:
  • September 24, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Sullivan Conference Center, UH Cancer Center, 701 Ilalo Street, Honolulu
  • September 25, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi, 600 ʻImiloa Place, Hilo
  • September 26, 6:15 to 8:15 p.m., Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School, 68-1730 Hoʻoko Street, Waikoloa
  • September 28, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., ʻIke Leʻa—Room 144, UH Maui College, 310 West Kaʻahumanu Avenue, Kahului

The public is strongly encouraged to participate in the process as the testimony will be taken into consideration as the rules are finalized. The rules will then go to the UH Board of Regents for a publicly noticed decision making meeting that will also accept public testimony. If approved at that point, the rules will proceed thru the Administrative Rules process to the governor for final review and approval.

“The administrative rules provide the university with an important stewardship tool to more effectively protect the cultural, natural and scientific resources on Maunakea and provide measures to better ensure public health and safety,“ says UH Hilo Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai.

The draft rules were developed after extensive community outreach that included several publicly noticed meetings, open houses and consultation with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Small Business Regulatory Review Board. The draft rules as required by statute are consistent with rules currently in place for similar lands managed by DLNR, including forest and natural area reserves.

The UH Board of Regents approved the draft rules for public hearings on June 7, and Governor David Ige gave his approval to move ahead with public hearings in July 2018.

See UH System News release for more information and FAQs.

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