Think About It: Natatorium Movement - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

July 31, 2017

Think About It: Natatorium Movement

I have seen the future of the Waikiki Natatorium WarMemorial and it's… well, it's still a ways off, but I can assure that a plan istaking shape. I got a chance to have a chat with officials in charge ofpresenting the City of Honolulu's plans and options for the facility, once thefull environmental impact statement is finished, hopefully in about a year. Allstakeholders and interested parties will get to throw their two cents in, butthe problem with most of the preservationist plans are that two cents won't beenough. Nor will $30- or even $40-million. Truly reviving the entity might cost$80-million, and despite the recent efforts of Bruno Mars and his generousticket giveaway idea, that simply might not be realistic or feasible.

And to maintain a salt water pool might not be evenplausible these days as it might not be deemed safe by the State Department ofHealth. The Natatorium celebrates its 90th year in existence on August24th; the purpose of the study heading forward and subsequent actionsbeing proposed and ultimately acted upon will be to ensure that this edifice,dedicated to the memory and bravery of the more than 10,000 local World War Iveterans, is around in some usable and significant form for at least another90-years.

Erosion and rotting rebar are a shameful reality of theexisting structures, and the often delayed proposals, studies, and action planshould be finalized in the next 18-months. Rest assured, some will be unhappy,but such is the case with any type of major change, especially when governmentis involved. Be that as it may, a solution is possibly visible on the not-too-distanthorizon, and perhaps three years from now we can all celebrate the memory ofthose who passed on over 100 years ago and gave their all for the territory ofHawaii at the revamped, reshaped, restored, or revitalized Waikiki Natatorium.Think about it…

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