Dorm-ancy - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

August 12, 2010


UH-Manoa recently completed renovation work on a couple of prominent student dorms on campus. The project came in on time and 6% under budget- kudos to all involved. Maybe now is the time to look at adding more dormitory space to the UH-Manoa campus in a quest to provide a more complete student experience. Years ago, under then-President Evan Dobelle, a plan was proffered to build new student housing in the area of the old Varsity Theatre and Puck's Alley; an idea, like many others, which never saw the light of day.

UH-Manoa is a commuter school, with most of the 20,000 students dispersing after classes or after lunch to drive home, take the bus, and/or get to their jobs. That's not much different than it was 35-years ago when I bussed to and from Hawaii Kai in my time at UH. The thought of hanging around for six-hours to catch a UH volleyball or basketball game or to attend any other night time function was simply not feasible or practical.

But if a public-private plan with real teeth to it can come together to build more housing for local and mainland students, the whole Manoa area, including local retail merchants, would reap the rewards. Offering students more opportunities for on-campus or near-campus UH-regulated housing would go a long way toward making the campus more vibrant and more active during non-classroom hours, something every institution of higher learning strives for in its quest to gain students, retain students, and build an alumni base that looks back even more fondly on its complete college experience. Think about it…

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