Maui seeks ideas for Mink’s old high school


HAMAKUAPOKO, Maui (AP) — Maui officials are looking for ideas on how to repurpose a high school campus that was once home to Congresswoman Patsy Mink, its class valedictorian in 1944.

Maui County is offering to grant a lease of 20 years or more for $1 per year to those who propose using the campus for social services, agriculture or education.

Anyone submitting a proposal must prove they can fund and accomplish their goals.

The request for proposal gives a clean slate for new organizations to propose a plan for the campus, said director Teena Rasmussen of the Maui County Office of Economic Development.

“We’re not holding them to any previous plans,” Rasmussen said.

Maui High School was established in 1913, but its campus was abandoned in 1972 when a new campus was built in Kahului. During the next few years, the campus known as Old Maui High deteriorated, and faced vandalism and fire.

It became forgotten, said Barbara Long, a past president emeritus of Friends of Old Maui High School, a group organized 10 years ago to preserve and rehabilitate the campus.

“Unfortunately, it’s out there in the middle of nowhere,” she said. “It was extremely vulnerable and extremely threatened until we got there.”

The campus has serious infrastructure problems, Rasmussen said.

“There is no potable drinking water or adequate fire protection, and a septic system will need to be installed,” she said. “But none of these infrastructure needs are insurmountable. The county will work with the winning proposer to ensure a successful outcome.”

 

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