The first school building still extant, Hilo Union School built in 1912-1916, was built in a Neo-Classical style. The early 1920s saw the rise of the secondary schools with Hilo High being one of the most prominent concrete structures built. Kalanianaole, as well as Hilo High continue to express the Neo-Classical style. But as the population increased rapidly in the later 1920s and early 1930s and with the Depression of 1929, the County chose to build numerous wooden structures utilizing in-house architects and draftsmen. This school building type is evident in Honokaa, Kapiolani, Kau, Naalehu and the old Riverside Elementary School. Laupahoehoe School, the newest of the schools represented in this nomination was designed in 1947 after World War II. The school is one of the best examples of the modern, international style, utilizing some Hawaiian local materials. The Hawaii County public schools are significant for their association with the educational system that developed on the island of Hawaii during the first half of the twentieth century and is illustrative of the civic thinking during the eras in which they were built.
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.