Construction is expected to begin this September on the new Ka‘u District Gym & Shelter.
The $17 million project will take 18 months to complete, according to a statement released Thursday by Hawaii County. Summit Construction was awarded the construction contract.
The new gym and shelter will be located on the Ka‘u High and Pahala Elementary school campus. It will be operated and maintained by the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation.
The 43,300-square-foot facility will be built to “enhanced hurricane” criteria.
In acknowledgment of Ka‘u’s proximity to vog emissions, the multi-purpose room and recreational room are provided with filtration systems and can serve as a shelter when there is an increased level of volcanic discharge in the area’s atmosphere, the county said.
Based on feedback from the community gathered in November and December, the facility was designed to expand athletic and recreational opportunities, serve as a destination for community events and emergency shelter during natural disasters.
The gym will also accommodate three regulation high school basketball or volleyball courts, and could host Big Island Interscholastic (BIIF) basketball or volleyball games.
A groundbreaking will be held prior to the start of construction.