This August, the new $170 million University of Hawaii West Oahu campus is set to open in Kapolei.
"As one political leader put it, it is a really a game changer for the Kapolei area and the district and region in general," said Dr. Gene Awakuni, UH-West Oahu chancellor. "To have a baccalaureate institution that we believe will be known for our majors is going to provide the access the residents on the west side have not had all these decades."
The 220,000-square-foot complex features a student campus center, state-of-the-art classrooms and labs, and a library that will host the state's movie archives.
Awakuni said he can't wait for the 2,000 students to start this fall. He updated Pearl City and Aiea residents about construction at a public discussion Thursday night at Pearl Ridge Elementary School.
"We will move the entire staff and faculty from the Pearl City campus in mid-July. By the time we start in mid-August, we should be at the new campus," said Awakuni.
Some parents attended the forum to learn more about the campus, which could be a more traffic-friendly option for families considering the UH system.
"With West Oahu being so close, and not having to worry about traffic being in the general area, she wouldn't have to worry about the frustrating commute back and forth to college," said Myles Fujiwara.
Once complete, UH-West Oahu will offer 24 undergraduate degrees from culinary arts to management -- a variety that is appealing to potential students.
"It has some of the courses I want to take and try something new," said Lenny Selepeo. "I wanted to see and check it out because I'm planning Leeward (Community College) first for two years and transfer to West Oahu."
UH-West Oahu leader hope having a four-year college in Leeward Oahu will encourage more students in the area to attend college, especially since they don't have to deal with the commute to town.