Recreation center finally completed
By Mary Vorsino
Advertiser Urban Honolulu Writer
By Mary Vorsino
After more than five years, the city says renovations at Maunalani Community Park recreation center is finally finished.
But the city is not yet saying when the facility will reopen.
The building was closed in late 2002 after asbestos, termite damage and electrical problems made it unsafe.
Money for renovations came through in 2003.
And the building, used for community meetings, classes and other events, was originally slated to reopen in April 2007 — after construction started in October 2006. But more problems were found at the building, and other delays held off a reopening.
The project, originally set to take six months to complete, took 15 months.
Renovations have been completed, and the facility will likely be turned over to the parks department this week, said Eugene Lee, Department of Design and Construction director.
But city parks Deputy Director Gail Haraguchi said it's not clear when the building will reopen. She said there are some minor issues to address, including installing communication lines.
The contractor also has to paint over some recent graffiti.
Eduardo Hernandez, chairman of the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board and a Maunalani Heights resident, said the renovation of the center has been frustrating. The site was used for everything from keiki birthday parties to a space for organizations to meet.
It was also a polling place.
"We've been waiting so long," Hernandez said.
Renovations on the center cost $64,000 more than originally anticipated. The total cost of the work was $1.237 million, Lee said.
The facility is at the top of Wilhelmina Rise.
Though the community center — and its bathrooms — shut down, the park, with a playground, tennis courts and a field, has remained open. A portable restroom was brought in for park users.
But the parking lot at Maunalani Community Park has been closed, forcing parkgoers to use a limited number of street spaces.
Lee, of the Department of Design and Construction, said renovation delays were unexpected. They included the need to wait for a transformer from Hawaiian Electric Co. and a problem with moisture readings in the flooring at the center.
Reach Mary Vorsino at email@example.com.