April 2, 2009 – Hilo, Hawaii
VIDEO: David Corrigan
After years of delays and well publicized construction problems, Hilo’s new judiciary building was finally dedicated on Wednesday.
The three story, state of the art court complex cost $91.7 million. Already open to the public on Monday, the building has 7 general purpose courtrooms, 2 family courtrooms, a law library, holding cells, offices, and a courtyard. Courtrooms are spacious, and furnished with flat screen TVs (even in the jury box) with touch screen technology for legal proceedings.
Lawmakers, judges and a large audience of citizenry gathered to celebrate the occasion. Many admitted the road to this moment was a long one.
The building, in the planning stages as early as 1983, occupies the site of the former Kaiko`o Mall, which was demolished in 2004 to make way for the courthouse. Construction was originally supposed to take two years and cost $60 million. It ultimately took twice as long and cost 50% more.
The 175,000 square foot building, named Hale Kaulike, or “House of Justice” has 400 parking stalls, and is home to two sculptures on the outside – Nicholas Bleecker’s “Mamalahoe” and Sean Lee Ley Browne’s “Kahu o ka wai ola o Hilo” – which were also blessed on Wednesday.