Waimea educational center honored


Kanu o ka Aina Learning Ohana (KALO) in Waimea has won the 2013 Jack C. Lipman AIA (American Institute of Architects) Members’ Choice Award.

The award was established in 1999 in honor of Jack C. Lipman, AIA, one of the Hawaii Chapter’s distinguished past presidents. According to AIA Honolulu, the recipient of this award is recognized as having achieved an outstanding level of design—appropriate to the climate and culture of Hawai‘i, as voted by fellow AIA Honolulu members.

“Having won an award for phase I of Kauhale Oiwi o Puukapu and now, also, for phase II validates so much of what we are about, what we are accomplishing, and the positive direction that we are headed,” said Taffi Wise, executive director, Kanu o ka Aina Learning Ohana.

“So many key people were involved along the way. In particular, Ken Melrose of Paahana Enterprises and Katie Benioni, KALO’s Kauhale Project coordinator, were two individuals who helped us successfully complete both the first and second phases of our project build.” KALO hired nationally recognized Flansburgh Architects to assist in master planning a new central campus. The Boston-based architectural firm specializes in the design of academic projects, having completed more than 250 educational facilities across the U.S. and abroad.

In September 2012, the 9,100 square-foot Halau Pokii, home to preschool classrooms through grade 5, and the 6,200 square-foot Halau Puke, a native library for school and community use, opened their doors. Retired U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka was among dignitaries attending the celebration.

The buildings occupy a site on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and are part of the non-profit organization Kanu o ka Aina Learning Ohana’s womb-to-tomb community based initiatives to support culture based education and the community. In 2010 KALO was officially awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for their phase one facility, the 9,300 square foot green building called Halau Hoolako, which also serves as a community resource and technology center.

The Kauhale Oiwi o Puukapu learning destination is organized around a piko, or central space in Hawaiian. It is around this large outdoor space that locations for present and future building phases are organized. Considerations for sun, wind, view, rituals, community and appropriate student spaces have been essential to each design phase.

The resulting designs are wedge-shaped, modular buildings that are repeatable, passively ventilated, wind-blocking structures capable of multiple configurations. When strung together, these modules appear curvilinear in nature and maximize viewpoints northwest to the Kohala Mountains and southeast to Mauna Kea. They are cost effective, energy efficient and embrace the beauty of Waimea.

The buildings reflect the value-based pedagogy of aloha, and are designed to celebrate life-long learning as the piko for the community, providing spaces for a culturally-driven educational curriculum for those of all ages.

“KALO remains humbly thankful for all the community and partner support, specifically DHHL, OHA, Kamehameha Schools, USDA Rural Development, Castle Foundation, and the USDOE,” said Wise.

To learn more, visit KALO.org. KALO is a nonprofit educational organization based in Waimea that assists statewide with Hawaiian-focus education. Incorporated in 2000 as a Native Hawaiian nonprofit, KALO and its partners are working to establish an autonomous, holistic education environment for the children of Hawai‘i: grounding every child and adult in the values that have shaped and empowered Hawaiians for generations, involving every member of the community in determining his/her education path and preparing every child of Hawai‘i to thrive in the modern world, free from oppression and with pride for our heritage. Serving and perpetuating sustainable Hawaiian communities through Education with Aloha.

 

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