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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Relief still 14 months away for Mililani school

By Catherine E. Toth
Advertiser Central O'ahu Writer

The new elementary school in Mililani Mauka is expected to open in January 2004, offering relief to an overcrowded Mililani Mauka Elementary School whose enrollment just keeps growing.

The date was announced at a community meeting last week at which the more than 300 attending decided to propose that the school be called Mililani Ike Elementary School.

Thus far the school, which will be at the corner of Meheula Parkway and Lehiwa Drive, has simply been called Mililani Mauka II.

The state must approve the name.

Former Mililani Waena Elementary School principal Steve Nakasato was announced as principal of the new school.

About 540 children live in the new school boundary, which includes the upper portion of Mililani Mauka, and will attend the new school. The new campus has been designed to handle about 650 students from kindergarten through fifth grade.

But for the first half of the 2003-04 school year, Mililani Mauka will serve the students expected to transfer and its teachers.

Mililani Mauka has about 1,250 students this year. Next year the school anticipates 1,300, nearly 50 percent more than the 900 students the school was designed to serve when it was built 10 years ago.

The school has 13 portables, with a request to the state for five more. As it is, Mililani Mauka is about six classrooms short.

"It's going to be good for both schools," said Mililani Mauka principal Carol Petersen. "Good for us because our enrollment will go down."

When completed, the new campus will have two classroom buildings, an administration building, cafeteria, library media and computer resource centers, a mechanical and electrical building, playfields and 70 parking stalls.

The next school the state Department of Education has prioritized building is Royal Kunia Elementary, which will offer relief to other overcrowded schools, in particular August Ahrens and Kaleiopu'u, in the Waipahu area.

Construction has been delayed indefinitely because of liens placed against developer Herbert K. Horita that are preventing the transfer to the state of the 12-acre parcel off Anoiki Street needed for the school.

Once scheduled to open in the mid-1990s, the school is now slated to open in the next two years at the earliest.

The state will add four more portables to Kaleiopu'u's campus next year to accommodate its growing enrollment.

Reach Catherine E. Toth at 535-8103 or ctoth@honoluluadvertiser.com.