Farrington High started the new school year with a newly renovated wing in its historic main building that features three learning academies.
The new wing is the first Hawaii State Department of Education public school redesigned structure to house collegiate-style academies, or Small Learning Communities.
"Students today learn in different ways and the environments they learn in need to reflect that," stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "Small Learning Communities are highly focused on providing personalized education as well as college and career preparation for students. We appreciate the work of the staff and community partners in creating a SLC redesign model here at Farrington."
The redesigned wing at Farrington High will house its Law and Justice Academy, Sports Industry Academy, and Business Academy. Farrington High also has five other academies, including Health, Teacher Cadet, Engineering, Creative Arts and Technology, and Culinary academies.
:We have been working on the concept of this new wing for nearly nine years now based on the success of our academy model," said Farrington High Principal Alfredo Carganilla. "The administration and school leadership team felt the school needed to work on the 3Rs, Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships. This model works well as Farrington’s enrollment of 2,400 students means some teachers must float from classroom to classroom to accommodate and service all our students."
In 2009, the DOE began an effort to redevelop its older high schools. Farrington was the first pilot. Since then, the DOE has come up with a long-range redevelopment master plan for the high school, which includes a rebuild of athletic facilities as well as other campus improvements and new facilities. The Legislature has appropriated $15 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for the first phases of those improvements. The new wing, funded by $2.3 million in CIP money, was designed by Bowers and Kubota, a local architect and engineering firm.
"Our ongoing investments at Farrington High will expand relevant education opportunities for students in state-of-the-art facilities," said Ray L'Heureux, assistant superintendent, office of school facilities and support services. "This project is just the beginning."
The school is also undergoing a design process for its auditorium. In November 2012, the roof of the auditorium collapsed. The rebuild project is expected to be bid out for construction at the end of this year.