And now to a new update on an old a favorite topic of discussion around here: the restrooms at Kahului Airport. Now to be fair, it’s not that the airport restrooms are bad. Ok, not that they’re any more or less bad than other airport restrooms. They’re certainly not Ritz-Carlton luxurious, but they don’t resemble CSI crime scenes, either.
They’re also getting nicer, though the reason for that is simple: the State of Hawaii is spending gobs of money on them. The most recent amount: $7.5 million.
Keep in mind that’s just an appropriation. I found it listed in a May 6 news release from the state House of Representatives’ communications office on $172 million in capital improvement project (CIP) funding for Maui that’s included in the latest state budget.
While it’s hard to imagine where all that $7.5 million will go in Kahului Airport restroom renovation, keep in mind that the state has already spent more than that to fix up the toilet stalls. In 2014, then-Governor Neil Abercrombie released $4.8 million for the restrooms, which was in addition to $3 million his office released the year prior.
At the time, a spokesperson for Abercrombie’s office said the money was to make the restrooms a “world-class facility.” With at least $15 million either set aside or already spent on the restrooms, I think the restrooms may end up being a tourist destination in themselves.
Photo of Kahului Airport terminal: TastyPoutine/Wikimedia Commons