Waipahu students showcase the past, present, and future through Waikele Center murals


Janelle Tapat

This summer, students from Waikele Elementary, Waipahu Intermediate, and Waipahu High School created a 900 ft. mural showcasing “Waipahu: Past, Present, and Future” at Waikele Center. Pam Wilson, the General Manager of Waikele Center, reached out to the schools and provided wooden boards to serve as their canvases. Six students from Waipahu High School include Jonathan Cascayan, Mariel Facunala, Kiara Mejia, and Larissa Rasaga, along with three alumni: Nathaniel Aguinaldo, Joey Carino, and Kenneth Pere.

The Waikele Elementary students focused on Waipahu in the past by painting sugar cane fields and kalo patches, while the students from Waipahu Intermediate focused on what Waipahu looks like currently, including the sugar mill smokestack. The high school students focused on what Waipahu could look like one day, with images of the finished rail and futuristic landscapes. Waipahu High School senior Mariel Facunla said, “It meant a lot that I could leave a mark on the world before my senior year ended.”

Ms. Alison Meggs advised the students who participated in creating the murals. Meggs “We were working on the last board and we’re all like, “Wait! There’s no more boards?” The students were so engrossed in creating so many boards they didn’t realize that they finished creating their part of the mural.

During a ceremony on August 20, each student received a certificate commending them for their hard work on the murals. Each school also received a certificate acknowledging the school’s outstanding community service. Members of the community can view the mural while construction takes place at the former Kmart location.