Governor funds Big Island building projects

Two Big Island renovation projects received funding to proceed from the state Wednesday, when Gov. Neil Abercrombie released a total of $64.7 million for capital improvement projects across the state.

Among the specific projects mentioned in a press release issued by the governor’s office Wednesday afternoon were $460,000 for renovations and roof replacements for buildings in the Department of Health’s Waiakea Complex, and $200,000 for the renovations, improvements, and reactivation of the Kulani Correctional Facility.

The Department of Health work will center on buildings located at 191 Kuawa St. in Hilo, including the Hilo Environmental Health Center, the Waiakea Health Center, the department’s Vector Control Building, and a pair of carports. Work would include re-roofing the majority of buildings, which are wooden structures that have extensive termite damage and are more than 50 years old, according to the release.

Additionally, an incinerator building in the complex will be demolished, as it is no longer used, according to a Department of Health spokesman.

Stan’s Contracting Inc. has been selected to perform the work at a total bid of $1,366,700. Wednesday’s $460,000 release would likely add to funds previously released by the state, according to the spokesman. Work on the project could begin within the next three months, and is required to be complete within 240 calendar days.

Meanwhile, $200,000 will go toward design and construction funds for renovations and improvements to reactivate Kulani, which was closed in 2009 due to budget restrictions.

“Renovations will allow the facility for reoccupation by minimum-security male inmates,” the governor’s press release reads. “KCF will eventually house up to 200 inmates. The facility is currently occupied by the state Department of Defense’s Hawaii National Guard Youth Challenge Academy, which will be relocating to the Keaukaha Military Reserve facility.”

Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd. was selected to perform the Kulani Correctional Facility work with a winning bid of $641,500, according to the state’s Public Works Division website.

“Many of these projects will address much-needed repairs and improvements to create a safer, more efficient state infrastructure and a more productive workflow,” Abercrombie was quoted as saying in the release. “These funds will further vitalize the construction industry, which is forecast to lead Hawaii’s economic and job growth over the next year.”

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