Future charter school given opportunity in Kilauea along Kauai North Shore
by Dennis Fujimoto ~
Namahana School has targeted the fall of 2025 for when the first cohort of students will be arriving at the new charter school in Kilauea.
Major work has yet to begin on the 8-acre parcel at Wai Koa Plantation after receiving conditional charter approval by the Hawai‘i State Public Charter School Commission in 2022. “In an extraordinary turn of events, Namahana School has been provided the opportunity to purchase a parcel of centrally located land in Kilauea town,” the Namahana Education Foundation announced on Tuesday.
“If able to marshal the necessary funds in time, this property will bring the public charter school closer to the families it will serve on Kaua‘i’s North Shore. It will also ensure a permanent site for future generations of middle- and high school students.”
Joan Porter, one of the school’s founding supporters, has provided Namahana with a renewable land license, and the Wai Koa site remains available as a contingency after Porter endorsed the new plan.
Namahana Education Foundation Executive Director Melanie Parker said the school is pursuing the newly available site in Kilauea because of the many advantages that outright ownership will confer.
That includes more freedom regarding land use and facility use, a streamlined approval and permitting process, and greater access to financing for campus construction.
“We are eternally grateful to Joan Porter and the Kauai North Shore Community Foundation for laying that crucial foundation for Namahana. Without that foundation, we certainly would not be where we are today. We never imagined that an opportunity like this would appear,” Parker said. “However, because owning our school site is by far the most practical option when establishing an institution meant to last for generations, we are moving mountains in hopes of closing the purchase of this property for Namahana.