The solar powered off-grid classroom in Hana Maui is the first of its kind, and was built by the young people of the community as part of a hands-on training program called Ma Ka Hana Ka 'Ike - "in working, one learns". High school kids and recent graduates completed the classroom in time for the fall school session this year.
The program helps at-risk kids learn construction skills while improving their community. Since 2000 this nonprofit group has teamed up with the kids and helped build 18 facilities at the Hana School (elementary and high school), cottages and homes for older residents, and numerous projects such as handicap-access improvements.
Hana Skate Park
The new classroom is outfitted with 24 rooftop PV panels, 2 inverters and a battery bank to supply electricity to the classroom and other nearby classrooms. Air conditioning was not needed in the new classroom due to good design which keeps it cooler. Plenty of air circulates through open windows, and the heat rises and exits through a cupola on the roof. It produces more energy than it needs, which goes to show that rooftop solar on public schools is a great idea and should be embraced by the Department of Education. Another classroom in Ewa Hawaii has a net-zero energy building, and some others are working towards the same goal.
Ma Ka Hana Ka 'Ike has received many awards from the community, the county and state. Funding comes mostly from private foundations, and also Maui County. Students can choose to stay with the program after graduating, and get paid a salary while helping others to learn some skills. The main goal of the program is to build a strong community of helpful people. By helping others in their town, the kids feel more accepted and valuable in their community. It's really working!
Thanks for reading my Maui blog...
Georgie Hunter R(S) e-Pro, Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers
127 Hana Hwy. #G, Paia HI 96779
E-mail or call/text: 808 283-0635