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Fall 2009

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Fall 2009 - Feature

‘Iolani School Purchases Land Adjacent to Campus

On June 29, 2009, ‘Iolani School purchased 5.5 acres of land adjacent to its campus from Lum Yip Kee, Ltd. and Lum Chang Tai, Inc.. The land is bordered between the mauka side of campus and Date and Laau streets.
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Gathered at the signing to purchase the 5.5 acres of land were (standing) attorney John Lezak, board member Dr. Mark Mugiishi ’77, board member Bill Mills, newly-elected Chair of the Board Jenai Wall, board member Donald Horner, (sitting) Director of Finance Glenn Ching, Headmaster Dr. Val Iwashita ’67, and then Chair of the Board James Kawashima ’60.
While there are no immediate plans for development (the property includes two individually-owned apartment buildings and nine cooperatively-owned apartment buildings with master leases and subleases that expire on December 4, 2012), the land provides the next generation of leaders and educators with an opportunity to think expansively about the future.

The ‘Iolani School Bulletin asked Headmaster Dr. Val T. Iwashita what all of this means for ‘Iolani School and future generations.

Q: Why did the school buy the property?

A: The school has done all that it can to maximize its current space, and to serve its 1,800-plus students within the existing 25-acre campus.

The rare opportunity arose to purchase this land, and it is located next to the school’s existing campus. The land purchase enables ‘Iolani to eventually expand its campus and add new, needed enhancements that will improve the entire educational experience for its students.


Q: Does the school have plans to develop the area?

A: There are no immediate plans for development. Any potential plans to develop this property are still years away. The school also has no plans to increase enrollment.


Q:  What will happen to the existing tenants?

A:  Because any development is still years away, the school has lots of time to address tenants’ needs and to develop a reasonable transition plan.  When we are ready to develop, prior notice will be given to the tenants.  


Q: Can a private school be a good landlord?

A: ‘Iolani School has retained Bill Ramsey, Inc., – a highly-experienced management company that currently oversees the property – to manage the rental units and to address tenant needs.  The management company will also help the school to determine if repairs to the property are needed after the master lease and subleases expire in 2012.


Q: How much is the school paying for the property?

A:  ‘Iolani School purchased 5.5 acres of land adjacent to its campus for $23 million.

There will be no tuition increase due to the land purchase. Similarly, the school’s overall operating budget will not be affected in any way by the purchase.


Q: Since the school will own Laau Street, will parents be using the road to drop-off and pick-up their children?

A: As in the past, the school will not use Laau Street as a drop-off and/or pick-up area for students. The school is interested in identifying ways it can help ease traffic congestion in the area in the future.  Improving traffic flow is a high priority for any development that takes place.  The school will commission a traffic study to assess possible solutions to the current situation.

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