University recreation center requires costly repairs after just four years

Local News

A recreation center at the University of Hawaii needs hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs, only four years after opening.

Water seeped through the doors of the Warrior Recreation Center, which caused the flooring to rot in those areas.

The center itself is still being used by students and faculty, but Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Higher Education, points out that the floors have been left to rot by the doorways. She wonders why the problem wasn’t fixed when it started back in 2014.

“Did the University of Hawaii actually work on getting it repaired or fixed, or did they just wait until this year to get it worked on?” Kim asked.

The state legislature approved $1 million last year to fix the problem and make additional improvements. Kim tells us that it might not have been as expensive if things were dealt with sooner.

She wonders if other projects within the university are not being addressed soon enough.

“I’m concerned that these small problems are mounting to be big problems because somebody’s not paying attention to it, and it makes you wonder about the leadership and what’s going on at the University of Hawaii,” Kim said.

University spokesman Dan Meisenzahl says the problem occurred at a time when the university was under a different leadership. He says UH did address the problem and asked lawmakers for money in 2016.

“The problem was identified. It was put in the state legislature’s budget, and now we’re moving forward with that project,” he said.

Meisenzahl adds that the cost to fix the floor is about $250,000. The rest of the money will go to lighting and other improvements.

Would it have cost less if they fixed it sooner?

“That could possibly be the case,” Meisenzahl said. “I think what’s happening right now is the legislature gave us the money last fiscal year and we’re in the process of spending that money. It’s a design build project, and that’s one of the improvements here at the University of Hawai.”

Meisenzahl adds that capital improvement projects are now done much faster since the recreation center was done. And as far as other projects, the Board of Regents gets quarterly updates, which are published online.

The materials are already on site, but Meisenzahl says the gymnasium will have to be shut down for a couple of months to get everything done, so they’re going to wait until May when summer break starts.

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