The Gathering Place - Groundbreaking Ceremony

...The Gathering Place is a culmination of student perseverance and members of the community stepping in at the right moment.  
The late morning setting couldnʻt have been more perfect. A slight cool breeze wafted through the air as Student Body President, Noah Matsumoto, greeted everyone and took us through a brief history of the project from conceptualization to implementation. The project may have been delayed, if not for the help of Sean Tamashiro, who was instrumental in getting the cost estimates and budgeting. With these important numbers in hand, the Gathering Place was on it's way to becoming a reality. From there, the students created a video and took their project to the legislature, where they received support from our Representatives Gene Ward and Mark Hashem and Senators Stanley Chang and Laura Theilen. 
The Gathering Place Program
Noah Matsumoto speakingStudent Body President, Noah Matsumoto Principal Justin Mew speakingPrincipal/Head of School, Justin Mew
Sometime in 2018, Mr. Layne Machida, President of  the General Contractors Association (GCA) met with the Leadership team. Leadership presented the video and asked the GCA if they would be willing to undertake the project. In December of 2018, with the help of Mr. Machida, another video was produced and shown at the GCA banquet in January 2019. At this banquet, Mr. Tyler Dillon of Layton Construction approached the GCA and offered to take The Gathering Place project on. Additional financial backing from First Hawaiian Bank and Hawaiʻi 3R's propelled the project forward to where we are today. 
Mr.Layne Machida, GCA President
Tyler DillonTyler Dillon of Layton Construction 
Vernalani Keb
Pule by Vernalani Keb 

“We were very impressed with the depth of effort the students went to in order to help this dream become a reality and we had to be a part of it,” said Dillon. “The Gathering Place will be a unique spot where students will be able to relax, socialize and enjoy being with each other. Layton Construction is honored to assist in helping this project come to life.”

Mr. Machida anticipates the project to be completed in mid-April. In time for our Seniors to enjoy it a little before graduation. 
A beautiful pule was given by Kaiser Alumna, Vernalani Keb, as she blessed the area. Oʻo sticks were passed around and the ground was broken -- Ready to receive new purpose. 
Groundbreaking CrewThe Groundbreaking ensemble. Reaction of the VIP's when they were jokingly told to keep digging for the next six weeks! 😆
The ceremony ended with Noah Matsumoto thanking the members of Class of 2018 who initiated the project and Mrs. Rinda Fernandes, Student Government advisor, for raising the expectations of the students to be be better leaders, better students and better people. 
This is truly a special day. 
Rinda FernadesMrs. Rinda Fernandes receiving a lei.  The groundbreaking ceremony.  oʻo sticks with Kaiser PlaqueSpecial oʻo sticks with the Kaiser High School plaque from Layton Construction to commemorate the moment.
Mahalo to the 2017 - 2019 Leadership Project Committee for making this happen: Sarah Cadalora, Kevin Chong, Justin Hong, Aina Hori, Kayla Kanemori, Colby Kagamida, Reina Kim, Noah Matsumoto, Sydney Miyasato, Marina Morishige, Trevor Tamashiro, Mia Tokunaga, Charles Tran, Mari Yasumi, Justin Yip, Andrew Yu and Daniel Yu. 
Also a great big Mahalo to KYA Design, General Contractor's Association, Layton Construction, First Hawaiian Bank, Group 70 International, Hawaiʻi 3R's, GP Roadways, Justine Perkins and Culinary Students.