At last! New Childcare Center breaks ground at Windward Community College

Windward Community College
Bonnie J Beatson, (808) 235-7374
Mktg & Public Rel Dir, Windward Community College
Ardis Eschenberg, 808-235-7443
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Academic Affairs
Posted: Apr 11, 2017

Chancellor Dykstra, Ardis Eschenberg and others break ground on new childcare center at WCC
Chancellor Dykstra, Ardis Eschenberg and others break ground on new childcare center at WCC

A long-awaited dream is moving closer to reality with the groundbreaking of Windward Community College’s new Hānaiaulu Childcare Center on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

The project, which Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Ardis Eschenberg, PhD, says is a “vehicle to increase education for Koʻolaupoko and Koʻolauloa for generations to come,” is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. The Hawaiian immersion childcare center is anticipated to serve up to six infants and eight toddlers, and is exclusive to use by Windward Community College students.

“If a mother earns her degree, her children are all more likely to earn their degrees, which in turn means that the next generation is more likely, and on and on. Maternal education is the largest predictor of higher education attainment for an individual,” said Eschenberg, adding, “This project will address a gap both in the Windward community, where infant and toddler care facilities are scarce, and at Windward Community College—the only community college in Hawai‘i lacking a childcare center.”

Designed by KYA Design Group, construction will include the renovation and modification of portions of the existing Hale ʻĀkoakoa building encompassing space currently occupied by two existing conference rooms comprising 1,062 square feet; and adjacent outdoor space of 2,218 square feet at the southwestern end of the building. The Hānaiaulu Childcare Center will include a Childcare Main Area (1,450 square-feet), Welcome Area/Lānai Extension (530 square-feet), Lānai Area (330 square-feet), and an Outdoor Play Area (970 square-feet).

The UHCC Office of Facilities and Environmental Health was instrumental in putting this project together under the leadership of Denise Yoshimori-Yamamoto, director, and Ray Teramae, architect/project manager. General Contractor S&M Sakamoto, Inc. will build the facility.

“So many people have worked together to make this childcare center project become a reality,” said WCC Chancellor Doug Dykstra. “We are so fortunate to have received this funding, as Windward CC students desperately need a childcare center.”

The U.S. Department of Education Title III Grant Project award totaling $9.9 million over five years will be used in part to build the childcare center and renovate STEM learning environments at Windward. The grant was written as a result of the diligent efforts in needs assessment and planning by the WCC Student Parent Group and Natural Sciences department, coordinated by Ardis Eschenberg, Kumu Tuti Kanahele, and Ke Kumu Pali, WCC’s Native Hawaiian Advisory Council.

Those responsible for the planning of childcare center efforts include Student Parent Group members Michelle Kam, Francine Vierra, Crystal Kamahalohanuilai, Sheila Sarsuela, Natajah Kekawa-Maynes, Joel Harding, Tanti Septiani, Lehua You, Nolan Brown, Tevi Tolentino, Kekai Edayan and Kehaulani Pelekai. 

Coming Soon!

Hānaiaulu LŪ‘AU: A Benefit for Hānaiaulu Childcare Center
May 6
5–10 p.m.
Hale A‘o (Hawaiian Studies Bldg. on the Windward CC campus)

To help offset expenses for interior furnishings, books, supplies and special needs equipment for infants and toddlers, the college is hosting a benefit lū‘au with Hawaiian food, entertainment and a special silent auction (bidding closes at 7:30 p.m.). Tickets are $55 and can be purchased at RSVP by April 30. Questions can go to Dorene Niibu at 235-7402.

For more information about the new Hānaiaulu Childcare Center, please contact Puanani Kama, childcare center director, at 808-398-5350.

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