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Pahoa park construction nears

July 25, 2014 - 4:58am

Construction of the Pahoa District Park will begin in less than two weeks, Hawaii County announced Thursday.

The $22.3 million project will add 29 acres of park space to the existing 15-acre park on Kauhale Street.

County officials will host a groundbreaking ceremony at the site Thursday.

According to the county, contractor Nan, Inc. will begin clearing and grading the site Aug. 4. The project is expected to take a year to complete.

When it’s finished, there will be two lighted baseball fields, two multi-purpose fields, covered play courts, a new playground and restrooms. One of the multi-purpose fields will also have lights for nighttime use.

Most of the existing facilities, including a swimming pool, community and senior centers and a skate park, will remain. A dilapidated basketball court will be removed, according to the project’s master plan.

The park is intended to serve the entire district, which the plan notes is undeserved. Drainage, a problem at the existing play field, is expected to be improved.

The current project is considered phase one of the park’s expansion.

In the future, a third baseball field, a track, soccer/multi-purpose field and amphitheater are planned.

The entire build out is expected to cost $54 million.

The plan covers a 71-acre site, including the existing improvements.

In anticipation of park expansion, the county in 2002 purchased land from the Roman Catholic Church, increasing the park site from 15 acres to its current size of 71 acres.

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