HONOLULU (KHON2) — As University of Hawaii at Manoa students return for the fall semester, they’re facing problems with on-campus housing. That’s especially true with an aging dormitory that’s popular with students.
Built in 1978, Hale Wainani is showing its age both inside and out.
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“It’s pretty outdated,” said sophomore Chiara Filart. “It’s super rundown. There’s paint that’s chipping off the walls. Our elevators sometimes break down.”
“The couches are really gross,” added sophomore Maya Singh. “Maybe some furniture would be nice, and the popcorn ceiling in my room keeps on falling on me.”
There are also plumbing issues. Junior student Gabriella Gonzalez hasn’t had running water for three days.
“I live up there on the third floor, and we’re sent to shower on that side of the building and on the second floor,” she said.
During KHON2’s visit, a plumber was working on the problem, so Gonzalez is hopeful that it’ll be fixed.
Students say, yes, the place looks old and can be a bit rundown, but it’s still the top choice when it comes to on-campus housing. Why? They say it’s because it’s apartment style living, so each unit has a living room, a full kitchen and a bathroom.
“So you can cook your own food and not have to worry about coming all the way down here or paying for meal swipes because it is kind of pricey,” said sophomore Trinity Flores.
UH says it’s aware of the problems with Hale Wainani and is working to make improvements.
“We are working to identify the concerns in the short-term and address them as quickly as we can, but we’re also developing a long-term plan,” said Moanikeala Nabarro, UH Manoa spokesperson.
Nabarro says students are urged to voice their concerns with housing problems. As for the long-term plan, she says a full assessment of student housing inventory will be done before the end of the year to identify the biggest needs.
“We have a new director in place,” said Nabarro. “We’re very confident with the new leadership that we have, and we’re just ready to continue to improve the experience for our student housing residents.”
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She says it’s still not clear what will be done with Hale Wainani, but there are already two housing projects in the works that can increase capacity from 3,000 students to 4,000.