A pre-demolition blessing ceremony was held Saturday for the Goddard Building on the Hawaii State Hospital campus in Kaneohe.
The hospital is moving forward with its master plan to develop a secure 144-bed facility. The demolition of the Goddard Building is supposed to help alleviate overcrowded conditions that have plagued the hospital for years.
“For too long, the Hawaii State Hospital staff has had to think of creative ways to accommodate the ever increasing numbers of patients to whom we provide services,” said administrator Bill May. “We have been converting conference rooms, therapy rooms and classrooms into bedrooms to meet the needs of our patients. Space is sacred. We’ve even thought about converting our library into a bedroom.
“It’s been a real challenge for us,” he said, “and just recently last week, we hit an all-time record of 218 patients here on this campus, a campus that was built for just 170 patients, in addition we rent 42 beds on the other side of Oahu.”
Work is officially scheduled to begin on Monday, Feb. 29.
A $160 million request for a design-build project to replace the Goddard Building has been introduced as part of Gov. Ige’s legislative package for this current session.