Gov. Josh Green recently signed two bills into law that will increase the amount of education construction underway in the state.
Act 172, signed by Green on July 3, authorizes the state’s School Facilities Authority to partner with public and private agencies to develop housing on or off campus for teachers, educators and staff, and to develop classrooms.
“The SFA is statutorily responsible for public school development, planning and construction,” said Bettina Mehnert, AHL president, CEO and member of the SFA board of directors. “We all know there is a shortage of qualified teachers and staff in Hawai‘i, and we hope this new SFA initiative will help ease that shortage.”
The SFA, which is already upgrading pre-kindergarten facilities, also received $200 million to expand pre-K access through Act 175, which was signed into law by Green the same day as Act 172. The money was transferred to the SFA’s special fund for Fiscal Year 2023-24.
“The SFA continues to work closely with our partner agencies such as the Hawai‘i State Department of Education, the Department of Accounting and General Services and other partners, such as the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation and the Hawaii Community Development Authority,” Mehnert said. “We have started to solicit professional services from contractors and consultants in accordance with the state’s procurement laws.”