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Pahoa celebrates new Gym and honors Helene Hale

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Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

Recycle Hawaii Executive Director Paul Buklarewicz and Education Director Howard Shapiro present the Keep America Beautiful “Recycle-Bowl” national recognition award (www.Recycle-Bowl.org) and a check for $1,000 to Pahoa High and Intermediate School’s Green Club.

Recycle Hawaii Executive Director Paul Buklarewicz and Education Director Howard Shapiro present the Keep America Beautiful “Recycle-Bowl” national recognition award and a check for $1,000 to Pahoa High and Intermediate School’s Green Club.

Pahoa High and Intermediate School (PHIS) Wednesday (March 7) celebrated the opening of its new gymnasium. Government and public school officials participating in the dedication ceremony included Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi, State Representative Faye Hanohano, Councilman Fred Blas, BIIF Executive Director Lyle Crozier, and PHIS Principal Darlene Bee.

Bee said, “On behalf of the Pahoa High and Intermediate School ohana. I would like to extend a big heartfelt mahalo to our many supporters for never giving up.” “Today, after years of waiting, a gymnasium we can call our own!”

The school paid tribute to former councilwoman and legislator Helene Hale. As a community leader, Hale’s efforts were integral to the realization of the new gymnasium. While serving as state representative, Hale fought to secure funding for the project. At Wednesday’s ceremony, Hale was joined by family members.

For 69 years, from 1942 to 2011, the school has utilized the county gym for athletic and school events.

Pahoa High and Intermediate School broke ground for the new facility in August 2009. Durrant Media 5 designed the $8.6 million, 16,077 square-foot facility and Primatech Construction, Inc., served as the general contractor. The project was completed in January 2012. With a 1,000-seat capacity, the gymnasium will be the new home for Dagger sports as well as schoolwide activities, including graduation ceremonies.

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