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Supporting Lahaina's Displaced Students Return to School

The community of West Maui celebrates the opening of the new King Kamehameha III Elementary campus eight months after the Lahaina wildfires, a small milestone in the return to normalcy for 3,000 displaced students. Since the August fires damaged the original school, homes, businesses, and livelihoods beyond repair, students have gone through several school location moves, often requiring hour-long commutes. The new campus located in the West Maui Mountains, above Lahaina town, is a temporary solution for families who have struggled to maintain their children’s education through the recovery process. 

MKThink, Lahaina School, King Kamehameha School

In collaboration with Hawai'i Department of Education (HIDOE) and key stakeholders, MKThink helped in the planning processes and construction coordination that helped realize the new campus in the West Maui Mountains above Lahaina town. The team developed the space program, a description of all the spaces, sizes, quantities, and requirements for the school. MKThink also participated in the core group that worked with the US Army Corp of Engineers to direct the project's construction. 

MKThink, Lahaina School, King Kamehameha School

Construction of the school took just 95 days. The site has a 600-student capacity and 30 air-conditioned classrooms, an administration building, a library, a student support center, a cafeteria, and play areas. This temporary school will operate for five years, while plans for a permanent school will involve community engagement and broader coordination with the plan to rebuild Lahaina. 

MKThink, Lahaina School, King Kamehameha School

Local, State, and Federal officials gathered to celebrate the opening. As the rebuilding process proceeds, this temporary school will serve as a staple not only for Lahaina's displaced students but also for their families and community.

Check out more of MKThink's work with the HIDOE here.


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