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Blessing ceremony held for new Kaua‘i High School gym

LIHU‘E — “Don’t step on the hardwood floors,” said state Department of Education Kaua‘i Complex Area Superintendent Daniel Hamada on Monday afternoon.

“I’m not on the floor,” said retired Gen. Myron Dobashi. “I’m on the cement.”

Both Myron and Jean Dobashi are very important people to the gym, said Kaua‘i High School Athletic Director Keli‘i Morgado, who has a specially named office in the new gym blessed by Kauilani Kahalekai on Monday afternoon before a small audience of school administrators and teachers.

The court floors are between coats, and evidence of construction punctuated the building’s exterior, as Kahalekai called on the ancestors to bless all the people who will be going into the new facility, and all the people who had a hand in completing the project that came in at $21 million and took two years of work.

“This place is going to be student-driven,” Morgado said. “The key is the video scoreboard that the Dobashis paid for. When we were planning the gym, the Department of Education said we needed to pay for it.”

During the two-year construction period for the facility that will include an office for Morgado, a conference room, ample storage space, a facility for the athletic trainers and concession booths, the DOE changed its posture and attitude to have the video scoreboard become part of planned gyms at Waimea and Kapa‘a high schools.

“The culinary department will be in charge of the concessions,” Morgado said. “The Academy of Hospitality and Tourism will be booking the acts, producing the shows and doing a lot of other things for the new gym when we celebrate the grand opening on Sept. 22.”

That date coincides with the first Kaua‘i High School home game of the season, when the Lady Red Raiders volleyball team hosts the Kapa‘a High Lady Warriors in the new gym, with the junior varsity contest starting at 5:30 p.m. The varsity contest starts 25 minutes after the completion of the JV match.

Additionally, Spectrum OC 16 is scheduling a live television broadcast of the games being played in the new gym on Sept. 28. Those contests involve Island School playing Kapa‘a varsity at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Kaua‘i and Waimea varsity teams meeting at 7:30 p.m.

“This is all for the kids,” said Kaua‘i High School Principal Marlene Leary, echoing the words of Kahalekai. “The kids, and the community.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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