West Hawaii Civic Center Isn’t Finished, After All

December 28, 2011

The West Hawaii Civic Center has been the center of County government on the west side of the island for nearly a year–but now, it turns out the contractors have not actually completed their work.  And the County has gone public about it.

County Council Chair Dominic Yagong, working with the Hawaii County Administration, has said the County Council cannot hold any more meetings at the West Hawaii Civic Center, despite the requirement in the County Charter to do so, because the Audio-Visual system is not up to par.  The contractor, Simplex-Grinnell out of Boca Raton, Florida, has not yet made the $1.3 million system operational.  The Council has been relying on their portable Audio Visual system while at the West Hawaii Civic Center, because all meetings must be videoconferenced to the all Council offices (Hilo, Waimea, Pahoa) to allow the public to watch and to testify.   Yagong says the system is cumbersome and not completely reliable.  He told West Hawaii Today he had to force the issue by stating publicly that the  system is not yet installed.  The County has withheld around $1.2 million in final payments to the contractor of the $50.5 million building.

County Director of Public Works released a nine-page punch list of items not fully completed when the building opened last January.   Many items remain unfinished in addition to the lacking A/V system.  The General Contractor for the project was Maryl Development.

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