Work is now underway to prepare the old Keauhou Beach Hotel for demolition on Hawaii Island. The hotel closed in 2012.
Kamehameha Schools held a blessing this week to signal the beginning of interior alteration construction or “soft demolition” of the interior.
The work entails first removing all wood, plaster, glass, drywall and other interior materials, leaving only the building’s exterior walls and structural framework. The windows and exterior openings will be sealed, and the interiors will be removed floor by floor. Debris will be deposited in an enclosed chute directly discharging into construction trash bins to protect the surrounding environment.
The school’s ultimate goal is to transform the site into a space for teaching and learning.
“With this major step forward, Kamehameha Schools is making significant progress toward transforming Kahalu‘u Ma Kai into an innovative, 21st-century educational complex that will serve as the piko (hub) for Native Hawaiian ʻāina-based, science, technology, engineering, arts and math education in West Hawai‘i,” said Kaimana Barcarse, West Hawaii Regional Director. “While the walls of this hotel are filled with cherished and warm memories of days gone by for many people, this project will create an environment to reinvigorate the ‘āina as the foundation for a thriving lāhui. We look forward to creating new memories here.”
The hotel’s demolition is pending approval of Kamehameha Schools’ Archaeological Preservation Plan and Archaeological Monitoring Plan by the State Historic Preservation Division.