Thousands of University of Hawaii students are moving into the dorms at Manoa this week while others say it’s just too expensive.
“Just for the dorms, it’s about $3,300 for the semester,” said junior Philip Gabalas.
“So it would probably come out to $4,000 and that meal plan,” said senior Sean Keoni Tolentino.
“The dorm I’m currently staying at is about $10,000 a year,” said senior Melise Nekoba.
Those are prices many are willing to pay. About 3,800 students are moving into on-campus housing this week.
“Why do you choose to live on campus?” KHON2 asked.
“For me, it’s just convenience,” Gabalas said.
“Making friends and just becoming one with the campus, so it was definitely a better choice,” said parent Susan James.
But some who dormed before couldn’t keep up with the cost.
“It got pretty expensive,” said senior Blake Abes.
“The transit was kind of far, but the convenience of dorming was really good, but I just didn’t have the money,” Tolentino said.
“I think even the local students were having a little bit trouble getting in, probably the last few years, so I definitely think there should be more housing,” Nekoba said.
University of Hawaii officials say there are 25 percent more dorms available now than in recent years with the addition of Frear Hall, and they’re in the very early stages of developing plans for future options.
That’s not all. Kamehameha Schools will soon offer another off-campus student option as they renovate 69 units at Kolo Place.
Six buildings reverted back to the trust last year. Kamehameha Schools has spent $6 million refurbishing these units, which are located near Stan Sheriff Center.
“What type of landscaping to use? How can we create a safer neighborhood? The lighting, the ambience, what’s a great neighborhood for residents who will be living here, whether it’s students, faculty,” said Cathy Camp with Kamehameha Schools.
One-bedroom apartments are ready for just under $1,400. Other units, including studios and two-bedroom units, will be available within the next two months.
Kamehameha Schools is also looking at transforming the Varsity area, including housing, restaurants and retail, but they too are still in the early stages of planning.