Saturday, September 19, 2015

Future Of State Hospital, Windward Community College Explored In Report To Board

The Kaneohe Neighborhood Board is reviewing a new report about growth prospects for two of the community’s biggest employers.
The report says the Hawaii State Hospital and Windward Community College have expansion plans that compete for the same parcel of land.
The college has proposed a land swap to resolve the issue. The report says the State Department of Health, which oversees the hospital, has declined the offer twice in the past two years and is proceeding with development of the site.
Among the key findings outlined in the report are the following:
  • The hospital is seriously crowded and faces increasing demand for long-term care of people with severe mental illness.
  • The hospital has a plan that includes building a 250-bed long-term-care facility on the disputed parcel, which it owns and is part of the current hospital campus. The plan represents operating-cost savings estimated at $4 million a year.
  • Shifting the hospital project to a new parcel would set construction back several years and further delay care for a vulnerable population.
  • The college says the site for the new facility is part of an area that it calls the Great Lawn. The college views the Great Lawn as the logical area for its growth. Losing part of the area for the hospital facility will impede those plans.
  • The college has offered 5.5 acres it owns, separate from the Great Lawn and the Hospital campus, in exchange for the 5 acres targeted for the new hospital facility.
The report, from Board members Bill Sager and John Flanigan, makes no recommendations about the issue. The Neighborhood Board is expected to discuss it at its next meeting, October 15.

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