UPDATE: December 2011
According to the recent newsletter of The Friends of Old Maui High, Chris Hart & Partners, Inc. developed a preliminary draft of the Conceptual Master Plan for the Patsy Takemoto Mink Center for Environmental Education that includes a Vision Statement, Program Description, Site Plan, and Campus Use Zones.
LISTED AS ENDANGERED IN 2005
Article Written By: A. Kam Napier, HONOLULU Magazine
What is it?
Maui High School opened in 1913 to serve Hamakuapoko plantation camp near Haiku. At its peak, just before World War II, as many as 1,000 students attended Maui High, coming in from throughout central Maui, some even by train. But a new Maui High School opened in Kahului in 1972, putting this one out of business. For the next 30 years, the University of Hawaii used part of the campus,but not this 1921 centerpiece building, the school office and classrooms designed by famed architect C.W. Dickey.
What Threatens It?
“Nature has had its way with it,” says Barbara Long, board president of Friends of Old Maui High School. The roof caved in on the 17,000 square-foot structure and trees grew through the floor. A community work day in 2002 cleared much of the brush. “You couldn’t even see the building before that, ivy had grown all over it.”
What Can Be Done?
The Friends of Old Maui High (FOOMHS), a volunteer and non-profit organization, was organized in 2004 to spearhead efforts to preserve and rehabilitate the site into a resource education facility. Partnerships were formed with the Community Work Day Program, Maui High School Alumni, government agencies, local businesses, and community leaders.
In 2005, Sen. Daniel Inouye helped secure a $250,000 federal grant to study what needs to be done. Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa formed a community task force to develop future uses. “Our plan is to preserve what’s left in a meaningful way and use the building to create a community recourse center that will perpetuate the educational goals of the late U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink, our favorite, most important graduate,” says Long.
But restoring the Dickey building into a functional Patsy T. Mink Center will cost millions, so FOOMHS is looking for help. Donations welcome, skills too. “We’d love an electrical contractor to say, What do you need?” says Long, “We’re shooting for 2013, the 100th anniversary of the school, as the time we will have the buildings finished and have programs in there.