From Hawaii County:
The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces the grand opening of the new multi-use Pana‘ewa Covered Play Courts and the reopening of the Pana‘ewa Family Center at Hilo’s Pana‘ewa Park on Saturday, July 7.
Mayor Billy Kenoi and Hilo Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi will welcome the public to the newly enhanced park during a 10 a.m. blessing and dedication ceremony. Refreshments will be served.
The 26,000-square-foot building features three regulation high school basketball courts that can be transformed easily into regulation volleyball or tennis courts. A retractable, overhead netting system allows the courts to be used simultaneously. Modular interlocking tiles, specifically designed to reduce impact-related injuries without sacrificing athletic performance, were used for the playing surface.
Significantly cheaper to construct than a traditional gymnasium, the covered play courts have an open-air design and ceiling insulation to avoid costly air conditioning. The open-air design together with translucent skylights minimizes the need for artificial lighting during daytime hours, while energy efficient LED lights will provide nighttime illumination. Numerous drywells were installed to prevent rainwater from entering residential lots bordering the park.
Contractor GW Construction built the facility for $3,065,980.
Another key component of Pana‘ewa Park that will be rededicated to the community is the newly restored and expanded Pana‘ewa Family Center that replaces a facility rendered unusable following a fire several years ago. The Pana‘ewa Family Center is adjacent to the new play court. It includes bathrooms meeting accessibility requirements, an administrative office and an expanded multi-purpose room measuring more than 1,400 square feet. The center will provide the community an accessible public meeting and gathering space that will be home to a computer lab and future Summer Fun programs.
Funding for the Family Center came from the County and the Pana‘ewa community, which held fundraising events. Construction was a collaborative effort between County staff and community volunteers from the Pana‘ewa Hawaiian Homestead Community Association and The Men of Pa‘a.
The County wishes to extend a special mahalo to Milton Kalai, Avis Yoshioka and Charles “Koba” Hanohano, the department’s recreation technician assigned to the park, for their dedication, perseverance and hard work in getting the facility restored.
Lastly, a new multi-sport scoreboard was installed to serve the park’s main softball field and football field. The installation of this sports amenity was a collaborative effort between community volunteers, County staff, and contractors Roger Hill Ltd. and GW Construction.