KAPAAU, Hawaii: The Kohala branch of Bank of Hawaii is now closed, but the building may still have some useful years left.
The branch has served the Kohala community for more than 90 years, and according to the Kohala Mountain News, the announcement in January of its impending closure was met with disbelief and anger by many in the community.
However, shortly after the bank closed in April, it was confirmed that Bank of Hawaii would be donating the property to the county, specifically for use by the Parks and Recreation Department and Office of Aging for community programs.
Possible future uses of the building include senior classes and workshops, videostreaming County Council meetings, and providing a central place for announcements during natural disasters. Long-range plans include using the site for educational classes and intergenerational programs.
As a condition of the donation, the bank is requiring the county to leave the automated teller machine and night depository in place and accessible to customers.