Saturday, October 22, 2016

A New Beginning . . .

I thought I'd share a post I wrote for my blog about our $33.2 million construction project that just completed. On Monday, October 17, we had an event at our school to celebrate the completion of the project as well as the renaming of our school. Here's the blog post:

Back on June 13, 2013, I published the first post in this blog and titled it "The Beginning." 3 years, 4 months later, this will be the final post on this blog. Our project has officially ended with the dedication of the last two buildings as well as the renaming of our school.

This has been a journey, one that began with high hopes and certainly didn't disappoint. Our final buildings are fabulous! At our celebration on Monday, October 17, Major General Cavoli from the 25th Infantry Division, stated that they might be the nicest buildings on Schofield right now.

Throughout this project, I was a learner with minimal prior knowledge. I had lots to learn. Using the charrette process, we were able to share our ideas to design our buildings, and our ideas came to fruition during the construction process. There were change orders, delays in shipment, and weather delays, and the school had to endure the challenges of noise, dust, and barricades. As each new building reached completion, I marveled at the construction process and all the workers who make a project come to life. Believe me, I will never look at a construction project in quite the same way; I realize how magical it is to take materials and turn them into a building that can transform people's lives. In our case, these new buildings will transform our teaching and learning at DKIES.

Most importantly, though, I learned that in any job, collaboration is key to success. We couldn't have asked for a better team. They were patient with my endless questions and explained things in layman's terms so I could understand; that was helpful as I updated this blog. They knew that this was a big project, the first in our public school system that was funded 80% by DOD-OEA and 20% by the State, and we all wanted it to be a model for 21st century teaching and learning. I want to thank all those at S&M SakamotoDesign Partners, Inc., Bowers & Kubota, the Department of Education, and US Army Garrison, Hawaii for being such great partners with us throughout this project.

When we broke ground on July 1, 2013, we were Hale Kula Elementary School. At the end of the project, we are Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School after the Board of Education approved a new name for our school. Now that the $33.2 million construction project is over and our new name is official, it is truly "a new beginning."

Links: Star Advertiser article
Hawaii News Now
KHON News 
Department of Education News Release
Hawaii Army Weekly
My brother, Roy, my Mom, and my husband Randy were able to join us for the event. This was the first time my Mom had seen the project she'd been hearing about. I was glad she got to see our "new" school. She and my Dad encouraged me to become an educator, a decision I have never regretted. We are with Ken and Jessica Inouye in our beautiful new library.
U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono was at the groundbreaking on July 1, 2013, and she was also present for the completion of our project and the renaming of our school. 
We were honored to have Ken Inouye, the only son of Daniel K. Inouye, speak about his Dad and what he learned from him.
Superintendent Matayoshi, First Lady Ige, U.S. Senator Hirono, Ken Inouye, student MC Caroline Lefaoseu, and MG Cavoli joined me in untying the maile lei. 
We are so honored to have this display case that was donated to our school by the Daniel K. Inouye Institute. The case is filled with memorabilia that shares the legacy of Daniel K. Inouye so students now and in the future will be proud to attend the school that bears his name. 

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