HONOLULU (KHON2) – When Wai‘anae High students returned to school on Aug. 3, they were graced with a new $10.7 million facility for the award-winning Searider Productions’ media-education program.
WhiteSpace Architects’ design for the new 8,500 square-foot mini-campus includes a lobby, makery space or shop, two new classrooms, an office-conference room, new restrooms, covered lanai and a flexible, multi-purpose open courtyard that will be used for classes and to host other gatherings.
“Another big dream becomes a reality thanks to all our students – past and present – and supporters who believed in them since 1993,” says Candy Suiso, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Searider Productions.
“The new facility will serve as a mini-campus for our program, which has expanded to serve hundreds of students every term and even over school breaks,” she said. “The flexible spaces will be used for classes for all of our Wai‘anae High School students, as well as allow us to create events that include the local community.”
Searider Productions remains on the site of the 5,500 square-foot former facility on the western side of the campus. The thriving program had outgrown the two separate industrial, near windowless classroom buildings years ago.
To facilitate the expansion, the long-unused Wai‘anae High pool building was demolished, while WhiteSpace Architects endeavored to incorporate the two existing Searider Productions’ structures – albeit significantly remodeled – into the new construction and expanded design.
Sustainability was a consideration throughout the WhiteSpace Architects’ re-imagining process to ensure high performance.
The facility now makes full use of natural lighting with interior spaces that feature large, picture windows that face the new courtyard, taking advantage of the area’s ample, year-round sunshine.
That defined, finished courtyard connects and unites the different portions of the facility, while also providing flexibility for learning and collaboration not only among students and educators, but also potentially with the larger community.
A lobby space both connects the different areas of the mini-campus and has defined an entry point. It also offers a dedicated display area for student-created products.
Searider Productions is an award-winning program that is recognized as “one of the most innovative creative media programs in the nation” by the Milken Family Foundation when it honored Suiso with a National Educator Award in 1999.
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