HONOLULU (KHON2) — From roofing to interior and exterior construction, the Department of Education said its price tag for repairs and deferred maintenance has climbed to a hefty amount.

“When you add up all the different projects it’s an excess of $2.4 billion in total,” said Curt Otaguro, Department of Education Deputy Superintendent.

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The DOE said it has 650 projects that are active in the planning, design and permitting phase, but there’s 60 percent of projects experiencing challenges.

“Those are pending for whatever reasons. Because of permitting, it’s because of supply or because we don’t have the resources to actively do that,” said Otaguro.

Lawmakers said they are shocked to hear the total in the billions and that the Legislature and DOE need to come up with solutions to address the repair and maintenance backlog.

According to the DOE’s Facilities Needs Report, for deferred maintenance alone, there are about 2,900 projects totaling nearly $630 million.

“That’s anything from a leaky roof to a leaky ceiling, and we need to provide safe environments for all of our kids so they can learn properly,” said Rep. Justin Woodson, (D) House Education Committee Chair.

According to the DOE, the average school facility was rated two out of 10, which is considered critical. The DOE said that there are about 290 facilities to manage, averaging 63-years-old, and consolidating or closing schools based on population may help in the long run.

“No one wants to go there because the community loves their schools, but we know there’s a decline in population. There’s shifting in populations. So, we know some of the schools have lost students and have relocated. So these are all very complex issues that this department with the Legislature needs to address,” Otaguro said.

The DOE said that closing or consolidating any schools would be up to the Board of Education. Lawmakers said that they are working to come up with creative solutions this session to address the backlog.

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“We need to continue to prioritize this effort. It comes down to our kids. We want to make sure our kids are in healthy, safe and clean environments,” Woodson said.