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WMS STEAM building opening delayed until January

Updated: 
August 29, 2017 - 12:25am

WAIMEA — Now that the two-story, nine-classroom STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Aina/Arts-Math) building is closer to completion at Waimea Middle School, an eighth-grade journalism class got a sneak peek last week and were quick to ask the obvious: “When do we move in?”

All eighth-grade core academic classes and two seventh-grade math and science classes will make the move come January 2018, if all goes as planned. All sixth-grade students and remaining seventh-grade classes will periodically meet in the new building to work on projects in the new technology demonstration lab and the outdoor amphitheater that connects indoor classrooms to the open-air Malaai school garden.

The move into the building was delayed because the master electrical meter that serves the entire campus — both elementary and middle schools — needs a significant update, according to Patti Cook, WMS’s director of community development. The work is in progress and will require a complete shutdown of power on campus for at least two days.

“The school is hoping this will be scheduled during fall break. Then, once a certificate of occupancy is approved, the move-in will begin,” said WMS Principal Amy Kendziorski. “We are thrilled with how beautiful the building is and we thank our legislators, the DOE and DAGS facilities teams, Pacific Architects, Isemoto Contracting and all the crews that worked on it.”

Twenty-first century classroom furniture is on order and expected to arrive in coming weeks to be unpacked, assembled and installed. The building is wired for internet service, but the school now needs to raise more funds to purchase additional technology and tech support to fully outfit the building.

For this purpose, WES is planning a fun walk/run fundraising event open to the public on Sept. 29 that will include a silent auction. Participants can run or walk around the STEAM building and then head off campus to complete a 1.5 or 3-mile loop that will bring them back to campus for dinner, music, the auction and door prizes.

WES is also applying for major grants, and a recent survey was distributed to many in the community to better assess family and community technology needs for internet service and training.

“Our goal is to create a hub of STEAM teaching and learning that serves our students, families and also our community,” said Kendziorski.

Formal ceremonies to bring the new building online are being planned by faculty, staff and WMS’s Local Advisory Panel. School families and the entire community will be invited to participate.

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