UH Capital Improvement Projects to Boost Local Economy

Total of 57 new projects to be awarded this fiscal year

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Sep 26, 2003

HONOLULU — The University of Hawai'i Board of Regents (BOR) has authorized the UH administration to enter into construction contracts for projects estimated at or above $500,000. It is expected that a total of 57 projects totaling nearly $59 million will be awarded during fiscal year 2003-2004.

"The university is very grateful to the governor and the legislature for appropriating these construction, repair and maintenance funds. The regents are especially thankful for the fact that many of these projects will help to address the huge backlog of repair and maintenance needs currently facing the entire university," said UH BOR Chairperson Patricia Lee.

The BOR action will enable the university to award construction contracts for two projects at the Art Building and Pope Laboratory on the UH Mānoa campus immediately. UH Mānoa has 26 other projects slated for buildings around campus including Holmes Hall, the College of Business Administration, the Bookstore and the Biomedical Sciences Building. Repair and maintenance projects will take place on every campus with all contracts expected to be awarded by the middle of 2004.

"The university is one of the few state departments putting money back into the local economy - it is refreshing to see public funds being invested into the repair and maintenance of our public school system and creating jobs that will benefit our local economy," said Pacific Resource Partnership Executive Director Bruce Coppa. "This is great news for the construction industry and the BOR and legislature should be commended for allowing it to move forward."

UH Mānoa economist Carl Bonham estimates that the infusion of $59 million in construction money into the Hawai'i economy will generate between $80 and $120 million in additional output and between $3 and $6 million in additional tax revenues over the next few years. "This level of construction activity will require as many as 600 to 1,000 construction workers. Given the rapid growth in private sector construction activity, the demand for additional workers for state and federally funded projects will put upward pressure on construction sector wages and create an acute need for programs to train new workers," said Bonham.

UH Hilo expects to complete 13 repair and maintenance projects including several renovations, teaching lab upgrades and modifications for accessibility. Projects taking place at the community colleges include resurfacing of parking and roadways, correcting structural deficiencies, repairing or replacing fire alarm systems, upgrading electrical systems and repairing termite damage.

"This is a big step forward for the university and we are looking forward to addressing some of the longstanding facilities needs of our institutions," said UH Director of Capital Improvements Jan Yokota. "I want to thank the BOR, the legislature and the governor for their continued support during this time of fiscal restraint."