Typical of the rural plantation town of Pahala, Kau High and Pahala Elementary School in Hawaii County is the arrangement of classrooms with the large lanai that is used as both access and rainy day play area. The use of tongue and groove vertical board, single-wall construction on a post and pier foundation with a corrugated metal roof is typical of this genre. Also, the back most of these classrooms face the north to capture maximum light without direct sun, while the south side features the lanai for a wider overhang and shade. The single loaded open lanai is also appropriate for natural ventilation in Hawaii’s trade wind climate. Built in the 1930s, Kau High and Pahala Elementary School is significant as an intact example of the rural school to serve the plantation community. This school reflects the time period on the County of Hawaii’s building program of rapid expansion in plantation population and therefore educational needs in rural areas of the island. It is also a largely intact campus done by Frank F. Arakawa, County Architect and engineer. This school, built in the later years of the school building boom, utilizes some “Hawaiian Style” characteristics. Simple and vernacular in style, it is reflective of the surrounding plantation town it resides in.
This list of Hawaii’s historic properties is provided as a public service by Historic Hawaii Foundation. It is not the official list of properties designated on the Hawaii State Register of Historic Places. For official designations and determinations of eligibility, contact the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources of the State of Hawaii at 808-692-8015.