The wind-driven wildfires that devastated Maui left elementary students in the historic town of Lahaina without an elementary school.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers went into action after receiving a mission assignment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Sept. 13 to design and oversee the installation of modular buildings for the temporary elementary school in Lahaina.
"The temporary replacement campus for King Kamehameha III Elementary will be critical in providing our students and staff with a sense of normalcy and a solid foundation for learning and recovery," said Hawai’i State Department of Education Superintendent Keith Hayashi.
In support of the State of Hawai‘i and the state Department of Education, USACE is providing technical assistance, engineering expertise and construction management for the construction of the temporary campus for students of King Kamehameha III elementary school who were displaced by the wildfires that damaged and rendered the school unusable.
“This has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding projects I have ever worked on,” said Elizabeth McCarty, mission manager, USACE Critical Public Facilities Team. “As a former teacher, this mission immediately tugged on my heartstrings.”
One of the first steps was to obtain a contractor who could complete the work within the project parameters. A request for proposal was sent out Oct. 16. USACE organized a site visit with contractors and their sub-contractors to review the site Oct. 22. Proposals were received Oct. 26 and were evaluated for the lowest price technically acceptable offer.
Pono Aina Management, LLC, an 8(a) Native Hawaiian Organization, based out of Waianae, Hawai'i, was awarded a base contract of $53.7 million on Nov. 4 to construct a temporary elementary school campus in Lahaina and was given a Notice to Proceed on Nov. 20.
“Knowing that many of the men and women working on this project were directly impacted by the fires makes it even more special,” McCarty said. “I am very proud to stand next to my entire team, my new extended ohana, as the school rises.”
Pono Aina Management and their subcontractors, Goodfellow Brothers, Diversity Resources Group and Willscot immediately went to work. Clearing and grubbing of the site began the day the notice to proceed was issued and was completed Nov. 22. Cutting and grading, which began Nov. 21 is still being completed. Modular units were ordered and are being sent from Oahu, Washington and California with the first units anticipated on-site the first week of December.
"Responding to this crisis has been a collaborative effort with our federal, state, county and community partners,” Hayashi said. “We appreciate the experience and leadership that the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers brings as they guide and oversee construction of this temporary school to serve our Lāhainā community.”
USACE Galveston District is responsible for contract management and project oversite with support from emergency personnel from multiple districts across the globe.
The handover of the temporary school to the Department of Education for furnishing and installation of telecommunication equipment is anticipated to be by the end of February 2024.
“My USACE teammates, the County of Maui personnel, the Department of Education and the contractors all work so well together,” said McCarty. “Learning more about the people of Maui and thU.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors prepare a site for construction of a new temporary elementary school campus for the Lahaina, Hawai'ieir culture is something that I will take with me forever.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $53.7 million base contract Nov. 3, to Pono Aina Management, LLC, an 8(a) Native Hawaiian Organization, based out of Waianae, Hawai'i, to construct a temporary elementary school campus in Lahaina. The temporary school will accommodate those students displaced from the King Kamehameha III Elementary School that was damaged and rendered unusable by the Aug. 8 wildfires in Maui County.
As part of the USACE Critical Public Facilities mission assigned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to support Hawai'i and the state Department of Education, USACE was tasked to design and oversee the installation of modular buildings for the temporary elementary school campus for the Lahaina community. The Galveston District will be responsible for contract management and project oversite.
"The children of Lahaina have gone through a heartbreaking trauma, and the Corps of Engineers, the Department of Defense and our partners can now help the state bring back a bit of normalcy to these young lives," said Col. Jess Curry, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Recovery Field Office commander. "This school may be temporary but will stand as a reminder that despite the grief and loss, Lahaina’s children will have a space to continue to learn, to dream and to thrive. We are proud to be here for them in this moment.”
For information on the Hawaii Wildfire Response or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers visit https://www.poh.usace.army.mil/Missions/Emergency-Response/Hawaii-Wildfires/.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $52.5 million contract Oct. 16 for Hazardous Site Assessments for Household Material and Bulk Asbestos Removal in Lahaina and Kula/Olinda to Dawson Solutions, LLC, a Native Hawaiian Organization 8(a) contractor. The performance period for this Phase 2 private property debris removal contract is three months.
USACE is managing the removal of the debris on Maui as part of the federal government’s unified national response following the wildfires that ravaged the towns of Lahaina, Kula/Olinda Aug. 8. The wildfires damaged or destroyed more than 2,000 Maui properties, requiring a coordinated fire debris removal cleanup.
Debris removal missions assigned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency include the removal of debris from private property. The cleanup process includes two phases. Phase 1 is currently underway and involves the removal of hazardous materials by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Phase 2 involves the removal of other fire-related debris by USACE. During Phase 2, fire-damaged debris will only be removed from a property if property and business owners grant permission via a completed right-of-entry form.
The County of Maui will identify and oversee priorities during the fire cleanup while working in partnership with the state and federal agencies supporting the community with this process. In addition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District awarded a contract for cultural monitoring Oct. 16 to help prevent further harm to items of cultural and historical significance while also honoring the unique cultural heritage of Hawai‘i. Cultural observers will be onsite for all stages of Phase 2 operations.
“Having cultural observers in place prior to the commencement of Phase 2 debris removal is key to ensuring USACE personnel and contractors can perform their work for the people of Maui with confidence that items of cultural significance are going to be protected,” said Col. Jess Curry, Recovery Field Office commander.
For information on the Hawai‘i wildfire response or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, visit https://www.poh.usace.army.mil/Missions/Emergency-Response/Hawaii-Wildfires/.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District (USACE), in partnership with the State of Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), is hosting two public scoping meetings, March 30 and 31 from 5 to 6:30 p.m., to seek input on the preparation of the Honolulu Harbor Modification Feasibility Study to address potential impacts with improving the Honolulu Harbor Federal navigation channel.
The goal of the study is to investigate alternatives to improve ship navigation efficiency, reduce transportation costs, maintain safety in Honolulu Harbor, and improve the resilience of Harbor operations to meet the demand for goods in Hawaii and U.S. territories in the Pacific.
The public is invited to attend in-person or virtually to learn about the study and submit comments during a 30-day public comment period which runs from April 1 to May 1, 2023.
The same information will be presented at both meetings. The meetings will be recorded and posted to the study website for future viewing.
Comments submitted by conventional mail should include: Name, Return Mailing Address, Phone Number, and reference “Honolulu Harbor Modification Feasibility Study Scoping”
USACE Honolulu District and HDOT signed a feasibility cost sharing agreement (FCSA) Sept. 23, 2022 to initiate a new start study for Honolulu Harbor. The study is estimated to cost a minimum of $3 million, cost shared 50/50 between HDOT and USACE, and take a minimum of three years to complete.
This study will be used as a basis for ensuring compliance with NEPA and evaluating alternative plans, including the "No Action" plan. The proposed alternatives identified include widening and deepening Honolulu Harbor channels and basins and consideration of nonstructural measures. The modification of the Sand Island Bridge, also known as the Slattery Bridge, and opening of the Kalihi channel are also being considered. The Integrated Feasibility Report and NEPA document will address dredged material management requirements for construction and long-term operations and maintenance.
The evaluation will examine the costs and benefits as well as the environmental impacts of modifying the maintained dimensions of the existing Federal project.
This Federal project was authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Acts of 1905, 1917, 1930 and 1954. The Non-Federal Sponsor is the HDOT, Harbors Division. The authority to fund and conduct this feasibility study is Section 216 of the Flood Control Act of 1970 (Public Law 91-611).
For more information about the Honolulu Harbor Modification Feasibility Study or to subscribe to receive email updates visit the project website at: www.poh.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Civil-Works-Projects/Honolulu-Harbor-Modification/
The Public Notice can be viewed here: www.poh.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Public-Notices/