Budget cuts jeopardize proposed Wailupe science center

The state’s budget woes and subsequent funding cuts to public schools may prevent the Department of Education from embarking on an exciting initiative in East Oahu.

The Education Department’s proposed conversion of the now-closed Wailupe Valley Elementary School into a science center is in jeopardy after a study found that it would cost some $2 million to retrofit and equip the campus.

Faced with the daunting task of slashing $468 million from public schools over the next two fiscal years, a Board of Education Committee on Administrative Services earlier this month was forced to recommend the return of the Wailupe Valley campus to its owner, the City and County of Honolulu.

Unless an outside donor were to step in and help support the center’s creation, it is likely – and unfortunate – that the school board will have to approve the committee’s decision and postpone indefinitely any plans for the envisioned science center.

Karen Knudsen

First Vice-Chairwoman

Hawaii Board of Education