New stadium, locker room sit idle at McKinley High after failed inspections

A new softball stadium and locker room at McKinley High School have been sitting idle even though construction was completed last December. The facilities are part of a major athletic complex planned for the campus that includes a new football field, tennis courts and a track.

While there’s nothing wrong with either facility, it will be a several more months before they’ll be used, school officials said.

The softball stadium was supposed to host last year’s OIA championships, along with the early rounds of the state tournament. It was also supposed to be rented out to the general public.

“We want it to be for everybody so that they can come in and watch their daughter play softball, and it’s a venue in town they don’t have to travel far and hopefully it’s exciting for everybody,” said McKinley athletic director Bob Morikuni.

But Ron Okamura, the school’s principal, said no games can be played there until the city issues what’s known as Certificate of Occupation. “Until we get that Certificate of Occupation, we cannot occupy the stands or use any of the building structures,” he said.

Okamura said a certificate has not been issued because a fire hydrant and a fire alarm system did not pass inspection. He said, according to inspectors, there’s not enough water pressure in the fire hydrant. Now, the school has to wait until the summer break to fix it.

Okamura says the school is not allowed to tap into a pipe on Kapiolani Blvd., which is just about 30-40 yards away. Instead, it has to tap into one on Pensacola St., which requires digging a trench about 200 yards before the field can pass inspection.

“I don’t know why and I don’t ask why. I just want to get it done and get it started,” Okamura said.

As for the girls’ locker room, the principal says the fire alarm was not connected to the whole school system so that also failed inspection.

“(The contractor) goes with whatever is in the design plan and I don’t know what was drawn up. I cannot tell you offhand, but it happens,” Okamura said.

Okamura said the school should be able to use both facilities by next school year.

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