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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 15, 2010

Work on West Hawaii homeless shelter moving along

By Erin Miller
West Hawaii Today

Work on West Hawaii's first emergency shelter for homeless adults should wrap up by the end of October, a county official says.

Construction on the shelter entered the second phase this spring, Housing Administrator Stephen Arnett said.

"They're moving at the pace we anticipated," he said.

The $1.8 million project is being paid for through a combination of federal, state and county sources. About $819,000 was secured by federal special project grants; $457,000 was appropriated from state Capital Improvement Project funds, while Hawaii County paid about $500,000.

At the groundbreaking in July, county officials said construction could wrap up as early as June. Arnett said Friday he was not aware of a plan to finish work next month, adding the contractor is on schedule. The notice to proceed for Phase 2, which is the building construction phase, said Bolton Inc. would finish work by the end of October. He said work on the first phase did run behind -- officials thought the work would be done in January or February, but did not finish until April.

Arnett declined to disclose why the first phase fell behind.

He said the project has had some change orders, but was still within the planned budget.

"They evened out," he said, adding some changes included removing items, while others included adding things.

The shelter will be located on property adjacent to The Friendly Place off Pawai Place. The emergency housing facility will occupy 2 acres of county property that was formerly a wastewater treatment baseyard. The shelter will include lockers, two bathrooms with three toilets and three showers each, a laundry facility, a kitchen, a common room and a resident manager's office. Men and women will have separate sleeping wings.

"This is going to be a wonderful project for West Hawaii, getting people off the street." Arnett said.

The county does not yet have a contract for a group or agency to run the shelter; Arnett said it will seek proposals about six weeks before construction is complete.