Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Lawmakers Budget $31M for UH-West Oahu Campus

Today, Rep. Sharon Har (District 40 - Royal Kunia, Makakilo, Kapolei, Kalaeloa) announced the inclusion of $31M in the House Budget for construction of a U.H.-West Oahu campus. Another $100M will be put in a special fund for land purchase. The long-awaited appropriation will fund phase one of the project, which will occupy 500 acres in Kapolei just makai of the H-1 Freeway.

The construction of a West Oahu campus has long been a desire of the University of Hawaii. U.H.-West Oahu, which is currently operating out of portable classrooms adjacent to Leeward Community College, offers degrees in the liberal arts and professional studies. It is the only four-year university on the leeward side. The proposed campus will have a small-town feel and will host a student population roughly the size of U.H.-Hilo.

Supporters of the project anticipate that the completed U.H.-West Oahu campus will help to relieve traffic congestion in West Oahu and overcrowding at the University's Manoa campus, and will further Kapolei's development as Oahu's "Second City."

An article in The Honolulu Advertiser has more on legislation and funding for projects in up-and-coming West Oahu: "West Oahu about to get a whole lot better."

Photo: U.H.-West Oahu Chancellor Gene Awakuni, Speaker Calvin Say, Majority Leader Kirk Caldwell and other members of the House majority leadership were present to show their support for the project.

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