Friday, September 29 was a special day for HPA. For the first time since the construction of the Energy Lab in 2010, the school celebrated the official dedication and naming ceremony of a new building on campus: Hale 'Īnana. Made possible by a gift from members of the HPA 'ohana who wish to remain anonymous, this multipurpose facility on the Village Campus (VC) provides a weather-sheltered space where students are able to play, compete, perform, and convene for any range of activities during and after the school day.
Joined by 15 members of the school's Board of Trustees, Head of School Robert McKendry presided, while Kumu Kuwalu Anakalea, HPA's Hawaiian language and culture teacher for the VC, and HPA parent Sipa Shimizu led the students from kindergarten through eighth grade in a traditional Hawaiian ceremony and blessing. Members of the building's design and construction teams were present, along with members of the faculty and staff and many current parents.
The students were excited in anticipation of the naming announcement, and shared a few of the things they love about the new building. A fourth grader said, "I like playing games in there like dodge ball, monkey-in-the-middle and basketball." One kindergartener exclaimed, "Robotics!" And a middle schooler stated, "I am excited to have a new place for fun activities and am happy we don't have to drive to the upper campus as often. I also appreciate the people who helped provide the building for us."
With regards to the name of the building, Mr. McKendry remarked, "At HPA, our buildings are made up of so much more than construction materials. They are full of laughter...and lessons...and teaching...and friendship. They are overflowing with knowledge and happiness, and they are steeped in memories and in history. Each of our structures is brought to real life by the teachers and students who learn and guide and grow inside them every single day.
"Thank you sincerely, Kumu Kuwalu, for leading us on this naming journey and for helping us discover the spirit of our building, which sits on this very special Hawaiian land. The name reflects the spirit of the place ... activity... animation ... liveliness ... growth ... and inspiration. We know that in this Hale, our Lower and Middle School students will begin to SOAR. We know that this space truly will inspire each and every one of you to take flight as you grow from being children to becoming teenagers and then young adults."
Mr. McKendry unveiled the building's plaque:
At the conclusion of the blessing, Mr. McKendry offered his gratitude and conveyed enthusiasm for the opportunities made possible by Hale 'Īnana. "To the members of the HPA family, whose financial support of this project has made this dream for our students possible and whose aloha for our school knows no bounds, we are indebted to you for your partnership and generosity. Thank you sincerely.
"Today, we say e komo mai to the newest member of the HPA 'ohana - Hale 'Īnana. As the name suggests, we expect the activities taking place inside to inspire our young people to soar, bestir, become animated, and launch into flight!