05 Apr Kupu Breaks Ground for its Green Jobs Training & Community Center

Renovations will Transform the Kewalo Basin Net Shed into an Innovative Educational Gathering Place for Youth and Community

HONOLULUKupu, Hawaiʻi’s leading environmental education non-profit organization, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony today to commence renovations to transform the Kewalo Basin Net Shed into a Green Jobs Training & Community Center.

“It has been a long journey to get to this point and we are so excited and blessed for all the support in making this vision a reality,” said Kupu CEO John Leong. “We are not just restoring a building, we are restoring lives and the potential of Hawai‘i with our Green Jobs Training & Community Center.”

Up to 100 Hawai‘i government officials, business and community leaders, supporters and other stakeholders attended the event to celebrate the new facility, which will provide advanced employment training facilities, educational services, cultural activities and innovative community spaces to the park.

“Kupu’s Green Jobs Training & Community Center will create a ‘piko’ (‘center’) in the thriving neighborhood of Kaka‘ako,” said Kupu Capital Campaign Cabinet Chair and American Savings Bank President and CEO Rich Wacker. “Today’s groundbreaking represents a milestone in what has truly become a collaborative, cost-effective public-private partnership in our state. We look forward to the many tangible benefits the Center will bring to Hawai‘i’s growing green jobs sector and the broader community.”

Starting in early May Kupu will work with J. Kadowaki Inc. to upgrade the current Net Shed facility through the end of the year. The renovated Kupu Green Jobs Training & Community Center will include a new commercial kitchen, laboratory facilities, classroom and meeting spaces to support Kupu’s community and culinary programs for youth and young adults. It will also provide new and innovative spaces for the community to gather for meetings, educational and volunteer events, exhibitions, and other opportunities to engage in conservation, sustainability, Hawaiian culture and service.

The facility will also be a model of sustainability, using photovoltaic energy panels to provide net zero energy usage. Kupu’s Community program participants will also continue to help monitor and ensure shoreline and waterfront preservation.

The renovations to the Net Shed will be funded by $6 million in donations and grants raised through Kupu’s Capital Campaign efforts.

Kupu has managed the Net Shed facility since 2010. In September 2017, Kupu received a long-term lease and development approval from the Hawai‘i Community Development Authority (HCDA) to renovate and manage the Net Shed facility to create this innovative Green Jobs Training & Community Center. For more information about the project, visit www.kupuhawaii.org/capital-campaign/.

Above photo caption (left to right): Micah Kane, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Kamehameha Schools; Ian MacNaughton, The MacNaughton Group CEO; John Neff, Kupu Board Chair; John Whalen, HCDA Chair , Barron Guss, ALTRES President & CEO; Corbette Kalama, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation VP of Real Estate Investments and Community Affairs; John Leong, Kupu CEO and co-founder; Mayor Kirk Caldwell; First Lady Mrs. Dawn Ige, State of Hawai’i; Rich Wacker, Kupu Capital Campaign Chair; Race Randle, The Howard Hughes Corporation Senior VP of Development; Julianna Rapu-Leong, Kupu co-founder; Representative Ty Cullen

Renderings of Kupu’s Green Jobs Training & Community Center: 

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