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West Hawaii community center awarded $475,000

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A Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant totaling $475,000 has been awarded to a West Hawaii nonprofit organization to support planning, design and construction of its community center, said U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka announced.

Laiopua 2020 plans to build a comprehensive community complex to include a community center, medical center, recreational facility, inter-generational day care facility, social service center and a child abuse prevention facility on 26 acres of Department of Hawaiian Homelands property south of Kealakehe High School.

The Economic Development Initiative (EDI) grant to Laiopua 2020 was included in the HUD Appropriations Act at the request of Akaka.

“Economic Development Initiative resources will facilitate the construction of this comprehensive community center,” Akaka said. “The Community Center will improve the quality of life for residents in the growing Kona community by increasing access to social services, recreational facilities, and educational and economic opportunities.”

“This EDI grant allows for the continued planning and design of our community complex that will address the lack of programs and services in our area. It paves the way for a safe and healthy future for our Native Hawaiian community and the West Hawaii region,” Laiopua 2020 Executive Director Bo Kahui said.

According to Kahui, Laiopua 2020 plans to break ground for the planned center by the end of this year.

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