(BIVN) – The effort to expand Waiakea Uka Park is moving forward.
Hawaiʻi State Representative Richard Onishi and Councilmember Sue Lee Loy recently shared a joint news release on the planned improvements:
Representative Richard Onishi has received confirmation from Governor Ige on the release of $6.4-million in state funds for Waiākea-Uka Park. “This funding brings the Waiākea-Uka community much-needed improvements at the park. Now we can go from plans on paper to a new community center as well as a larger and better parking area that will ensure the safety for all those who utilize the facility.” said Rep. Onishi.
“I’m excited to see this project go from community concerns to community assets,” said Councilmember Sue Lee Loy. “Working with Richard and his know-how of matching state funds with county funds to deliver results was remarkable; he looks out for our community that way.”
In the 2015 session of the Legislature, Representative Richard Onishi secured funding with the intent of purchasing an adjacent parcel to the park. Then in 2018, after being delegated appropriations by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the County of Hawai‘i was able to purchase a 1-acre parcel adjacent to the park (TMK: 2-4-035:001) owned by Marlene Hapai, Ph.D.
With its two ballfields, a state-of-the-art playground, and the 79-year-old Stanley Costales Waiākea-Uka Gym, the park has served as the social and recreational hub of the community for years. Funds awarded through the CIP will go towards a new community center, two new parking lots, and the relocation of the lower baseball field.
Both Onishi and Lee Loy wish to thank, Governor Ige and all the staff in our respective offices, Department of Parks and Recreation (“P&R”) Business Manager Reid Sewake, former P&R Director Roxcie Waltjen, current P&R Director Maurice “Mo” Messina, Property Manager Hamana Ventura and Director Deanna Sako of the Department of Finance, Marlene and Archie Hapai, and the Waiākea-Uka community for their patience and understanding.
“I’m so grateful for the community networking and effective collaborations between Representative Onishi, the State, County, the Hapai’s,” said Lee Loy. Rep. Onishi followed with, “I’m committed to delivering results that address community concerns.”