Ground is Broken for New Aiea Public Library

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new, replacement Aiea Public Library was conducted on the site of the former Aiea Sugar Mill on Saturday, March 16.  Governor Neil Abercrombie and other invited dignitaries attended and participated in the ceremony.

The new 17,200 square foot Library was designed by CDS International and will replace the existing 10,000 square foot Library located at 99-143 Moanalua Road.  The original Aiea Public Library opened in 1964 and featured a unique hexagonal shape designed by architect Stephen Oyakawa, an associate of Frank Lloyd Wright.  While this building has served library users for nearly 50 years, as the community and usage has grown, the need for a larger facility has become necessary.  The original Library will remain open while the new Library is being built. The new Library is scheduled to open in 2014.  

The ceremony featured a musical prelude by Aiea High School's Jazz Band, and the  Na Poki`i O Na Ali`i Singers of Alvah A. Scott Elementary School; an oli by Mahealani Lum, a performance of the "Star Spangled Banner" and "Hawai‘i Pono‘i" by singer Emily White, brief remarks by Governor Abercrombie, Marvin Buenconsejo for U. S. Senator Mazie Hirono, State Senator David Ige, Nancy Bernal for State Senator Donna Mercado Kim, State Representative Aaron Ling Johanson, architect Glenn Miura of CDS International, and State Librarian Richard Burns; a song performed by the Aiea Lani Seniors, and a message and blessing of the new Library site was offered by Rev. Arthur Kaufmann of Aiea Hongwanji Mission.     

The new Library will include: shelving to accommodate up to 78,000 books and 8,000 DVDs and CDs, free wireless Internet access with a valid Hawaii State Public Library System library card, 10 computers for public use, a large program room for library programs, community meetings and activities; and more parking for library patrons.  The building's design will be reminiscent of the old sugar mill with the simple, tall gabled roofs and exposed structures, mechanical and air-conditioning duct work within the interior space. The Library's exterior will be created from materials similar to industrial buildings, but will be elegant in design and appearance.  

The 21st century Aiea Public Library will be an environmentally-friendly facility that will seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification and features to reduce electricity costs: a high-efficiency air-conditioning system, 6,000 square feet of photovoltaic solar panels, maximum use of daylight, motion light sensors, a light-dimming system; and features to reduce water usage costs: water-efficient fixtures and use of drought-tolerant plants in the library's landscaping.  

Aiea community leaders began the process of planning for a larger library to replace the current Aiea Public Library in the early 1990's.  In 1999, the Aiea-Pearl City Vision Team suggested purchasing the former Aiea Sugar Mill site to relocate the Aiea Public Library as part of the Aiea Town Center Master Plan. 

In 2002, community leaders and legislators secured legislation (Act 177, SLH 2001) for $2.5 million in land acquisition funds. Governor Linda Lingle released these funds in 2003 to purchase the five, fee-simple lots and signed Executive Order 4039 for the replacement Aiea Public Library site.

In 2010, Act 162, SLH 2009 appropriated $9 million for planning, design and construction of the new Library, and in 2011, CDS International was selected as the consultant for the design of the new building.  After meeting and gathering community input, CDS International completed the design, and Nan Inc. was awarded the construction contract.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Governor Neil Abercrombie (5th from left) participated in the traditional groundbreaking ceremony for the new Aiea Public Library along with (l-r) Baron Baroza, Acting Branch Manager, Aiea Public Library; Rep. Gregg Takayama, Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson, Norman Mizuguchi (former State Senate President), Claire Tamamoto, President, Aiea Community Association; Sen. David Ige, State Librarian Richard Burns, Architect Glenn Miura, and Marvin Buenconsejo for U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono.      

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