Kihei just got a little greener. Last Friday was the official grand opening of the first phase of the town’s new 44-acre park. The South Maui community started asking for a park in the late 1980s, and Mayor Alan Arakawa said this has been the work of four administrations now.
“The park is next to Kihei Elementary School,” Arakawa said. “This county park was placed next to the state-run school so the students at the school would have the opportunity to have physical education programs and would be able to go directly from their school to the park safely. It should also be noted that the park would not have many of its amenities without the extreme generosity and dedication of the Kihei community.”
This first phase is makai of Piilani Highway near both Kihei Elementary and Lokelani Intermediate. The landscaped 20 acres consists of a soccer/utility field, a baseball field, night lighting, restrooms, concrete benches, tables, grilling pits and a parking lot.
Goodfellow Bros., Inc. constructed the park, which cost about $11 million to build. That price does not include an estimated $200,000 worth of playground equipment, including the rubber safety surface, which was donated and installed by Pyramid Project Management, the Grand Wailea and other volunteers. Maui Land & Pineapple Co. also donated park trees.
“We are so pleased to provide this special place where families can gather to be creative, have fun and create lasting memories,” said Matt Bailey, Grand Wailea Managing Director.
Although this first phase is complete, there is still much work to be done to complete all 44 acres of the park. Tentative plans include adding more soccer and other playing fields, two more playgrounds, a pavilion, youth center, outdoor tennis and basketball courts and a gymnasium.