Hawaii Pacific University is thinking about selling its Hawaii Loa campus.
KHON2 has learned that HPU is in discussions about what to do with the 135-acre campus in Windward Oahu.
Why is it thinking of getting rid of the property and what does it mean for students and the future of the campus? If it was sold, does this mean we could see condos or shopping malls put in its place?
“Right now, the master plan calls for consolidating the downtown campus, but the plans for the Hawaii Loa campus are still being discussed,” said Richard Rapoza, HPU communications director. “We would love to keep it. We would love to have it forever, but whether that is economically feasible is another question, and it is something being discussed.”
As for the students, there are mixed reactions. Some are against the possibility of the campus being taken away. “I don’t know if it is going to be beneficial for them,” said Meghan Cooley. “I don’t know the financials of it, but I think the Hawaii Loa campus is a really big draw for students.”
Fellow student Trevor Moniz said “I think it is a bad idea, because we are putting so much money into Aloha Tower when we should have put all the money here.”
But for Jordan Dujon, he likes the idea of having everything in one place. “If they were to remove it, I think it would be good to have all of the students on one campus,” he said.
“There is a division of opinion, but I think in the long term, with these meetings and discussions, people will see what is going on and support the move downtown,” Rapoza said.
But what about the classes and dorms located at the Windward campus? Would they be gone as well or just moved downtown?
“Our goal would be to replicate the footprint of Hawaii Loa in downtown,” Rapoza said.
HPU officials also face another challenge. Whether the school sells the property, leases it out, or continues to use it, there are restrictions in place.
“The property was given to HPU, specifying that it be used for educational purposes, so it is not like we can turn it into condos or build a hotel on it,” Rapoza said, “and if we were to lease it or sell it to anyone, it would be subject to the same limitations.”
If Hawaii Pacific University decides to move away from the Hawaii Loa campus, it would not be for another three years.