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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 19, 2010

School complex to house $18M evacuation center

Advertiser Staff

The vog-cloaked district of Ka'ū on the Big Island is on course to get an $18 million emergency evacuation shelter, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

The district has been among those most heavily affected by vog since a new vent opened at Halema'uma'u summit in March 2009 and the volcano began releasing more sulfur dioxide.

The evacuation center would be built on the grounds of the Ka'ū High School and Pāhala Elementary School complex and would double as a school gymnasium.

The Legislature last year budgeted money for design of the center for the state Department of Education.

But state Rep. Bob Herkes, D-5th (Ka'ū, South Kona), said he will introduce legislation to transfer the money to Hawai'i County because building the center isn't a priority for the Department of Education.