Change orders at McKinley High School will be costly

KHON2 has obtained new information on the costly delays at McKinley High School after the state spent $4.5 million on a new softball stadium and girls’ locker room.

Both facilities were completed in December, but will likely sit idle until sometime next year due to failed inspections. The city said a fire hydrant near the softball stadium did not have enough water pressure while the fire alarm at the locker room was not connected properly.

According to the state Dept. of Education, the softball stadium, complete with bleachers and a concession stand, costs $2.8 million while the girls’ locker room cost $1.7 million.

And with the delay comes even more costs.

The biggest is fixing the hydrant. Even though the hydrant is close to Kapiolani Blvd., the school was told that it has to connect to a water main on Pensacola St., which is more than 200 yards away. The DOE said digging a trench and installing a new water line will cost $225,000.

“My reaction was kind of disappointment and kind of shock and frustration, so I made a few calls. I just needed to understand the process,” said former McKinley High School Athletic Director Neal Takamori.

Takamori has been overseeing the renovation at the school as a volunteer. Plans include a football field, track and tennis courts. Takamori said he views the project as a showcase for the whole community, but said delays and added costs are wearing him down.

“It’s unfortunate that things end up this way, but I’m sure with the minds we have, there’s got to be a better way,” he said.

The Oahu Interscholastic Association softball tournament was supposed to be held at the new stadium last month for the first time. The delay was a missed opportunity to showcase the venue and raise money through admission charges.

“Because McKinley’s field is in one of our DOE campuses, as far as the control factor, it’s a lot easier for us (to) hold an event there,” said OIA Executive Director Raymond Fujino.

McKinley also missed out on potential revenue through concession stands that would have been set up throughout the tournament.

There’s also the cost of renting the field at Central Oahu Regional Park, where the tournament was held.

Add all those up and Fujino estimates a loss of a few thousand dollars that would have gone toward the school’s athletic departments.

A Board of Water Supply spokesperson said the water pressure at the hydrant, at least on their end, is fine and the school has to tap into a pipe all the way on Pensacola St. because that is where the school’s main meter is located.

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