As the first public high school in South Maui, the completion of the second phase of Kūlanihāko‘i High School marked a significant milestone for South Maui's educational landscape. This project introduced five new buildings, innovative sustainability features and crucial site enhancements. Construction included an administration building, classrooms, a library, a cafeteria, locker rooms, a play court, a temporary playfield and open spaces. The new school accommodates up to 400 students, grades 9-12, with future phases planned to increase student capacity to 600.

All five of the new buildings are constructed of colored, burnished concrete blocks and structural steel, with curved aluminum trellises and a mix of standing seam and Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) roofing. The burnished CMU block utilized in all five buildings was specifically selected for its minimal long-term maintenance requirements. The colored block eliminates the need for painting or touch-ups. However, given that the block serves as both structural support and the finished exterior, the project team worked closely with the subcontractor to ensure the CMU block installation remained consistent across each building and met design standards. The final palette and design reflect the subtle colors of the Maui landscape and provide a beautiful and relatively low-maintenance backdrop. TPO roofing, renowned for its durability and ability to reflect UV rays, was strategically selected to prevent expensive maintenance and soaring energy expenses. Additionally, drought-resistant plants, non-potable well water for landscape irrigation and thermal chimneys that regulate indoor air temperature demonstrate a proactive approach to reducing environmental impact and promoting long-term occupancy. 

The team also constructed several site improvements including a new access road, three new parking lots, an irrigation tank and well system, as well as extensive landscaping and hardscaping. The team utilized existing site materials as much as possible to minimize the need for material transportation. Collaborating with an earthwork subcontractor, the team crushed all dirt and rock onsite for use as in-fill. The objective behind this was to build according to what the site and area had to offer, prioritizing sustainability and reducing environmental impact.

Kūlanihāko‘i High School represents a transformative asset for Kīhei and the broader South Maui community. As the first public high school in the region, it serves as a champion for the continued growth of Kīhei's Mauka area, catering to the needs of a growing population. With a capacity designed for 600 students, the campus is poised to accommodate future generations of learners for years to come.

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