Ground was broken Tuesday for the construction of a culinary institute that will expand from the current location at nearby Kapiolani Community College.
The Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head will be built at the site formerly occupied by the Cannon Club.
When finished, it will house the advanced patisserie and confiserie courses of the KCC’s current associate in science pastry arts degree.
“After a long wait, going back to Governor Cayetano’s time, we’re finally breaking ground,” said John Morton, vice-president for community colleges, “which will open up advanced culinary training opportunities for chefs here in Hawaii, but also being an attraction for people to come to Hawaii who want to study culinary arts. Students who previously graduated from the two-year programs, if they wanted more training, they had to go to the mainland.
“What this does is it offers advanced training beyond the two-year degree, including getting a bachelor’s degree in restaurant management and leadership from UH-West Oahu,” he said.
The $25 million first phase construction on the 7,878-acre site will include four single story buildings — two cooking laboratories, an advanced multi-function laboratory, and an advanced Asian cuisine laboratory — plus an outdoor cooking area, landscaping, the first of two parking lots and all of the offsite utility infrastructure for the entire project.
Other buildings that will be constructed in the first phase are the locker room/restrooms/student lounge, storage room, and support (central plant) building.
Other speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony included institute director Conrad Nonaka, and chefs Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi.
Construction is expected to be completed by December 2016.