Jr. Bow ‘Ohana, Please Help: The future of the Lab School is at stake

Aloha Community Members:

This letter is to provide you with some information on a recent development proposal concerning the land that the University Laboratory School (ULS) currently sits on.

During Hawai‘i State Legislature, Senate Committee on Ways and Means Committee on Higher Education meeting on January 12, 2023, the University of Hawaii (UH) announced plans to redevelop the entire block between Metcalf and Dole along University Avenue where the Lab School, College of Education, and PBS building are currently located. A Youtube video of the January 12 meeting can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnoo2a8DKcI (discussion about the PBS building and the Lab School site begins at 2 hrs. 7 mins).

When questioned by the senators, UH President Lassner and UH representatives made inaccurate statements about the area and the Lab School. When questioned about the area and its future, President Lassner told the Senators that the “Lab School has no affiliation with UH.” That is not true. The UH administration stated in the briefing that they will work with ULS and give us “ample time- in a scale of years” to find a new home. To date, we have not received any communication from UH.

The Lab School has a  deeply rooted historical connection  to the foundation of UH and the College of Education. Operating at its current location, the Lab School was originally a place to prepare teachers and then a place to conduct educational research by UH for the benefit of Hawai’i’s children. Today the Lab School continues to have an ongoing affiliation and partnership with UH in this work.

Although the Lab School is alarmed by President Lassner’s comments, what should be even more alarming for the neighborhood are the statements made by UH representatives. UH representatives, besides stating that the Lab School will need to find a new home, have made their intentions about the area very clear: they plan to redevelop the property.

UH representatives told the Senators that they want to work with a private developer to turn the area into a mixed residential/commercial space. Redeveloping the property into a mixed residential/commercial area will have a profound 24/7 impact on the community with significantly greater density, vehicular, and foot traffic, the look of the neighborhood, and the safety and security of residents, among other issues. This will compound the

January 27, 2023

effects the other UH development, the Atherton expansion project on the corner of Metcalf and University that is already underway, will have on our community.

If you have questions or concerns about the development plan, the time to speak up is now. Your support of ULS needs to be shared and heard with our county and state officials.

To redevelop the site, UH will need to secure an updated development permit. UH representatives will be attending upcoming neighborhood board meetings to respond to community members’ questions and/or concerns regarding the Plan Review Use (PRU) permit application process on:

●  Wednesday, February 1, 7:00 p.m. via WebEx ( link provided on board agenda ) (Manoa Neighborhood Board)

●  Thursday, February 2, 6:00 p.m. at the McCully District Park

●  Thursday, February 9, 6:00 p.m. at the Ala Wai Clubhouse (DiamondHead/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board).

The link to the neighborhood board agendas are available at this  LINK.

To submit written testimony:
All written testimony must be received in the Neighborhood Commission Office 48 hours prior to the meeting. If within 48 hours, written and/or oral testimony may be submitted directly to the board at the meeting. If submit-ting written testimony, please note the board and agenda item(s) your testimony concerns. Send to: Neighborhood Commission Office, 925 Dillingham Boulevard, Suite 160 Honolulu, Hawaii 96817. Fax: (808) 768-3711. Email: nbtestimony@honolulu.gov

Here are additional resources for your perusal:

●   Public presentations notification to adjoining property owners regarding UH’s intent to seek an updated development permit for the UH Manoa Long RangeDevelopment Plan (see proposed LRDP Update). p. 21, 47

Building a Rainbow: A History of the Buildings and Grounds of the University of Hawaii’s Manoa Campus, Edited by Victor N. Kobayashi: p. 28, 54, 56-57, 75-78, 102, 107, 112.

Please contact Denise Yoshimori-Yamamoto, ULS Governing Board Chair, with any questions: dfyoshimori@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s