KAPOLEI, Hawaii (KHON2) — The University of Hawaii West Oahu celebrated the grand opening of the Academy for Creative Media facility today giving students hands on experience like no other.

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The Academy for Creative Media’s 37-million-dollar facility offers space and equipment for Oahu students to create and learn about media without having to move off island.

Founder, Chris Lee said, “from the beginning, my goal was to find a way to create a diversification of our economy with living wage jobs for our students… I call this 33,000 square feet of the future, because this is finally the physical production infrastructure that our students in Hawaii deserve to have full careers in this industry.”

Many faculty members and alumni came together to celebrate the expansion of this program and what opportunities it will bring future students.

Michelle Zheng, an alumni student, said, “I’m so happy for the new students, they get so many cool things like Esports room, the recording stations, the hatchery, which is like a space can just hang out. So, it’s just amazing that they get to use all the resources.”

“Social media allows people that don’t necessarily have a voice to have a voice, and in Hawaii, that’s particularly important, especially for our native population. And so, just having that platform to kind of express ideas and to share about knowledge and culture and where we live this beautiful place that we call home, I think that that’s really important for people to see and to be able to relate to,” said Samantha Giridhar.

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The founder of ACM said although there are programs on all 10 UH campuses, this facility is a hub and brings all of them together.