Update from the Capitol – November 2016

Kapolei Community Leaders, Senator Mike Gabbard
Senator Mike Gabbard

Aloha e friends,


Happy Thanksgiving to you and your ohana! By the way, don’t forget on Black Friday to check out Kapolei’s Ka Makana Alii Shopping Center, which officially opened on October 21st!

And as always, please feel free to contact me at 586-6830 or email sengabbard@capitol.hawaii.gov if I can help you or your family in any way. You can also follow me on Twitter @senmikegabbard, Instagram @sengabbard, or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/senmikegabbard.

 Kapolei Interchange Complex – Phase 2 Moving Forward

You might have noticed the construction on the mauka side of the H-1 freeway between the Makakilo/Kapolei and Kalaeloa exits. That’s Phase 2 of the Kapolei Interchange Complex, a $60 million joint project between the Department of Transportation and Kapolei Properties Division. The plan includes an eastbound H-1 exit ramp to Wakea Street and an overpass to allow commuters to go west on the H-1 from Wakea. Construction got underway in January 2016 and is scheduled to last until mid-2018.

 Department of Education Employee, Manager, and Team of the Year Awards

A big congrats to Ewa Makai Middle School’s cafeteria manager, Francis Santa Monica, for being named the Department of Education’s (DOE) 2016 Manager of the Year on September 9th. Same goes for the Kapolei Elementary School Office Team, composed of Karie Gomban, Wanda Goo, Denise Lee, Alyson Manuel, Muriel Takano, and Leslie Veazie, who received the DOE’s Team Excellence Award of Merit.

 Education Updates

In September, the DOE announced they are requesting $705 million in construction funding be included in the next state budget. This request includes $26.7 million for a new classroom building at Campbell High School, the DOE’s top priority. Also, included in the funding-ask is $30.8 million for a new classroom building at Kapolei High School. I’ll be supporting both of these projects. The DOE is also moving forward with the installation of air conditioning in our schools as a result of the $100 million the Legislature appropriated last session. Ewa Beach Elementary, Ilima Elementary, and Campbell High are the top three priorities for school AC. Barbers Point Elementary is 15th on the priority list.

Honoring Chris Lowe

I presented Chris Lowe with a surprise Senate Honorary Certificate at a concert to celebrate the release of his debut album at New Life Church Honolulu on September 10th. Chris is director, conductor, vocal coach, composer, orchestrator, performer and director of music at American Renaissance Academy in Kalaeloa. He has been featured in several musicals, concerts, oratorio, and guest performances in Nebraska, California, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Samoa. He has had the honor of soloing with The Honolulu Symphony, The Hawai’i Opera Studio, and the BYU Hawai‘i Concert Choir and University Chorale. Mr. Lowe has received the International Thespian Society’s award for dedication and service to theater and the Hiki No Award for providing musical service to the military.

Next “Listen Story”

My next “listen story” meeting will be held at the Ewa Mahiko District Park meeting room on November 5th from 9:00am to 10:00am. Hope to see you there!