WHS breaks ground on new Integrated Academy Facility


Leimarie Gacho

Gov. Ige, local senators and representatives, business and community partners and Waipahu High School administration attended the ceremony.

The Hawaii Department of Education broke ground on Waipahu High School’s new Integrated Academy Facility on January 14, 2021. 

The ceremony began with Gov. David Ige, Senator Michelle Kidani, and Reverend Kenneth Makuakane sharing remarks on the new building and on the faculty and staff’s efforts. 

“The teachers here inspire students to reach goals and challenges they never thought possible,” Gov. Ige said. “Our schools are the key to making our island and planet a better place and nurturing our students to be leaders, innovators and problem solvers of tomorrow.” 

The new building is estimated to take 18 months to build. It will have three stories, with each floor designed to integrate the different career academies at Waipahu High School. 

The first floor will be dedicated to the Academy of Natural Resources, where students will be able to experiment with agricultural tools incorporating artificial intelligence. 

The second floor will have biotechnology, chemistry, and computer labs as well as design thinking areas for academy students to utilize. 

Half of the third floor will allow the Marauder Cafe and culinary program to prepare and serve different cuisines from around the world. The other half of the third floor will allow students from the academy of Hospitality and Tourism to organize and cater events. 

Waipahu High Principal Keith Hayashi says through the school’s career academy design, he hopes to leverage the most current technologies to provide authentic learning experiences and opportunities for  students that connect to high-wage, high-skill, in-demand, and future-focused jobs.

“In designing a facility to integrate the academies together, the beauty was that we had our industry partners coming together, and our community coming together to provide support,” Principal Hayashi said.

The Integrated Academy Facility not only inspires hope for the students who will use it in the near future, but teachers are also excited for the new possibilities the facility will provide. Academy of Natural Resources teacher Rachel Domingo said, “I am so excited to witness the development of the new building. With new, state of the art equipment, I know the building will be a place where students can develop their knowledge and skills to contribute to our rapidly changing society.”

A rendering of the Integrated Academy Facility courtesy of WRNS Studio.