Current and recently-grauduated students of Lanai High and Elementary School shared their hopes and concerns for the future of the Pineapple Island’s only school in the innaugural meeting of the DOE Facility Master Plan Executive Planning Committee (EPC) for Lanai Complex.
Specialized facilities that enable expanded educational opportunities, faster lunch service, guest facilities for visiting peers to stave off isolation, and safe haven from bullying stood out as the students’ highest priorities.
“It’s discouraging to think about the opportunities other students have that we don’t have because we’re here,” said a Lanai High School sophomore who dreams of directing a student theatre production. Like many DOE schools, Lanai HS/ES has no space suitable for music and performing arts.
“Our athletic teams are challenged because we have to travel to other islands in order to compete,” shared a recent graduate who will attend college on the Mainland in the fall. “Same goes for band, and science and robotics teams. It would help if we had a place for visiting teams to spend the night so we can host guests from other islands.”
“The cafeteria is old and too small,” said another Lanai student. “Usually there are some of us who don’t get to eat because the lunch period is over before we get ot the front of the line.” Tasked with serving all grades from Pre-Kinder to 12th grade, school leadership is challenged by an undersized cafeteria, which is less than half the size of the DOE’s design standard. Solutions explored by the EPC include food service kiosks distributed across the campus, a multi-purpose covered outdoor area that could be used for dining and other functions.
“School is supposed to be a sanctuary where we don’t have to worry about our safety,” opined a Lanai student concerned about bullying.
The Lanai EPC is comprised of school leadership, students, parents, teachers, and community members, and will meet multiple times over the summer and fall to develop a prioritized capital improvements plan.