March 27, 2013 By Representative Bob McDermott
My first CIP (capital improvement project) requests for House District 40, the Ewa area, were focused on Campbell High School. After a series of meetings with school administrators, teachers and the Department of Education engineers, I came to several conclusions.
First, a new second high school is not needed, but major improvements to Campbell High School’s existing facilities are long overdue.
When it comes to investing in our future, I cannot think of a better place to start than our public education system. There is no reason why we shouldn’t be investing in improvements to our school’s physical infrastructure. I have made reforming the educational system my No. 1 goal as a state legislator.
There have been several projects started, but not finished, at Campbell, including extensive improvements to the electrical system. Years ago new transformers were installed in anticipation of renovation to the electrical distribution systems. These transformers have been sitting unused for almost 10 years.
These types of false starts are both wasteful and misleading. Not only is momentum lost, but piecemeal execution makes any project end up costing much, much more than it should.
I have asked for $5 million, to complete the entire second phase of the electrical build-out. My colleagues in the Legislature have urged me to lower my sights and ask for smaller CIP requests, but I would rather take the time to identify what our district really needs.
We will rally to move Campbell High School back up the priority list for air conditioning. It is ridiculous that Campbell has dropped out of the top 10 schools in need of air conditioning statewide.
A proposal was submitted to cover costs for a new surface for the football field, which will bring our field up to the same standards as other public high schools in Hawaii.
Funds also were identified to renovate the old Ewa fire station, so it can be used as a new EMS center that would service our community.
You have my assurance that, despite these tough times and tight budgets, I will continue to work so that our community will not be slighted when it come to getting our fair share of capital improvement funds.
State Rep. Bob McDermott represents District 40 – Ewa, Ewa Beach and Iroquois Point. He can be reached by calling 586-9730 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org