(Media release) — The biggest single investment in recreational opportunity in Hawai‘i County history is coming to Lower Puna, following a groundbreaking ceremony this morning for the $22.3 million P?hoa District Park.
Mayor Billy Kenoi, several councilmembers and County officials joined members of the Puna community to kick off the project, which will provide more recreational opportunities than ever before to the fastest growing region of Hawai‘i Island.
“We are committed to giving the families of Puna access to first-class recreational opportunities,” said Mayor Kenoi. “The facilities in this park will be safe places for our kids to learn good sportsmanship and teamwork, and to stay active and healthy.”
This $22.3 million, year-long project to deliver a district-level park to Lower Puna will include a covered playcourt building, two baseball fields, two multipurpose fields, a keiki playground, concession building, new comfort station, accessible walkways, and ample parking areas. Contractor Nan, Inc. is scheduled to start clearing and grading the site immediately.
“This wonderful sports facility is going to really, truly benefit our children,” said Kel Lee, president of the Puna Panthers Pop Warner Football Association. “It’s a dream come true for P?hoa.”
Totaling more than 29 acres, the improvements will complement the park’s existing facilities that include the P?hoa Community Aquatic Center, P?hoa Neighborhood Facility, P?hoa Senior Center, and P?hoa Skate Park.
“This park will be a place for our community to play, bond, and build memories for generations to come,” said Councilmember Greggor Ilagan, who represents District 4 (Puna Makai).
The Puna Community Development Plan, adopted by the Hawai‘i County Council in 2008, identified the need for a district park in Lower Puna. A comprehensive planning process involving the community, the County, and project designers WCIT Architecture began in 2012 to ensure these new facilities reflect the recreational needs of Puna’s residents.