2019 Give Back to the Community
Kaiser High School: "The Gathering Place" outdoor amphitheater seating area
Marine Corps Base Hawaii: Marina Breezeway
GCA PRESIDENT IN 2019:
GCA Expands its ‘Give Back to the Community’ Program
Article appeared in the GCA Magazine 2020, Volume 19, Issue 1.
In 2019, the General Contractors Association of Hawaii (GCA) initiated a long-term endeavor to give back to the communities in which we live, work and play through the donation of its members’ time, materials and labor to undertake small construction projects for Hawaii-based not-for-profit organizations and groups. The ‘Give Back to the Community’ program was previously an annual fundraising drive, with monies raised donated to various non-profit organizations. But then-board president Layne Machida of Civil-Mechanical Contractor decided to take giving back to another level, and made a concerted effort to identify small construction projects in the community that were unbuilt, on hold, or were at risk of being canceled due to budget shortfalls, lack of funding, or other monetary challenges.
Both of these projects represent the first of many that are to be undertaken by GCA members under the ‘Give Back to the Community’ program. GCA is proud of its members who are stepping up to give back to our small island community through this unique program.
The Gathering Place at Kaiser High School
The first project that was identified as a candidate for the ‘Give Back to the Community’ program was Henry J. Kaiser High School’s “The Gathering Place,” an outdoor area with amphitheater seating, benches, tables, and walking paths where students are able to relax, socialize and enjoy being with each other.A total of 35 volunteers from Layton Construction and a multitude of partners and subcontractors spent several weeks performing the excavation, site work, and concrete pouring and finishing required for the project. Universal Steel donated the rebar and steel and Hawaiian Cement donated 72 tons of concrete base course and 65 cubic yards of concrete. It took the support of many companies but all involved saw it was a worthwhile endeavor and were inspired to see all the volunteers working and supporting this cause. Layton Construction estimated the total in-kind cost of the project was $175,000.
The Gathering Place is truly a culmination of student inspiration and perseverance and GCA members stepping in at the right moment.
According to Justin Ahn, the 2018 student body president at Kaiser High School and one of the organizers for “The Gathering Place” project, “We don’t have any outdoor areas that bring us together as a community. ‘The Gathering Place’ now meets that need by providing not only the students, but the many outside visitors and community members who use the school for extracurricular activities, a place where they can meet, instruct, perform, socialize, study, eat or reflect.”
The project was dreamed up by Kaiser High School students during the 2016 - 2017 school year because the school did not have a place for students to interact, collaborate or just relax in a comfortable environment with their classmates. The school’s cafeteria only had a capacity of 550 for a student enrollment of over 1,100. With the assistance of several design and construction firms, the students were able to develop a conceptual design and cost estimate for the project. After the students lobbied and gained support for the project, they received funding of $404,000 by the Hawaii State Legislature to complete the design of the project. However, one thing that the funds fell short of was for a contractor to build the project. Through Machida’s assistance, the students gave a video presentation of their proposed project to GCA members at its annual Installation Banquet in January 2019, where GCA contractor member Layton Construction saw the video and stepped up to take on the project.
Thank you to the many partners who helped turn students’ dreams of “The Gathering Place” into reality
Lead Contractor: Layton Construction
- Allied Builders
- BASE Engineering
- Belt Collins
- Civil-Mechanical Contractor
- Consolidated Engineering Laboratories
- First Hawaiian Bank Foundation
- Foundations Hawaii
- GP Roadways
- Hawaii 3R’s
- Hawaiian Cement
- Herc Rentals
- IPR Hawaii
- Jayar Construction
- Universal Steel
- West Oahu Aggregate
Marina Breezeway at Marine Corps Base Hawaii
The second project identified for the ‘Give Back to the Community’ program was a new walkway for the Marine Corps Community Services’ (MCCS) Marina facilities at Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) Kaneohe Bay. The Marina is considered a “gem” at MCBH Kaneohe Bay, serving all branches of military service including retirees, veterans, military unit training activities, the Wounded Warrior Program, and their families. With over 100,000 users annually, the Marina at MCBH Kaneohe Bay is the highest patronized recreation program in the Marine Corps worldwide. In 2018, Machida met with MCCS leaders on community projects that the GCA could undertake in support of the military in Hawaii. One project that was identified was the lack of a paved accessway connecting the MCCS parking lot to the Marina facilities.
For many years, there was no safe access to the MCCS Marina facilities from the parking lot. The existing gravel pathway was bumpy and especially hazardous for those patrons with wheelchairs, walkers, and canes. The new concrete “Marina Breezeway,” a $60,000 project completed over the course of a week in October 2019 by GCA contractor member Healy Tibbitts Builders, now provides smooth and unhindered access from the parking lot to the Marina facilities, making it much easier for guests to safely and efficiently access the Marina facilities and facilitates the full utilization of Marina programs and assets.
Additionally, at the recommendation of Healy Tibbitts Builders, the GCA contractor member overseeing the project, the concrete slab is six inches thick to be able to support and provide access for emergency services vehicles, further enhancing safety at the Marina.
Thousands of patrons now overwhelmingly enjoy utilizing the new concrete breezeway and have expressed their gratitude to the MCCS staff at MCBH Kaneohe Bay.
Thank you to the GCA member companies who supported the “Marina Breezeway”
Lead Contractor: Healy Tibbitts Builders
- Civil-Mechanical Contractor
- Hawaiian Cement
- JS International Inc.
- RLP Inc.
- Universal Manufacturers