December 15, 2023 | Source: Pacific Business News

Special Olympics Hawaii completes sports facility upgrades in Ewa Beach

By Kelsey Kukaua Medeiros – Associate Editor, Pacific Business News

Special Olympics Hawaii’s newly outfitted Sports and Wellness Center is “a game changer” for the organization that serves nearly 5,000 athletes and unified partners statewide, the nonprofit announced earlier this month.

The facility originally opened in 2021, located adjacent to the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center at 91-610 Maunakapu St. in Ewa Beach, but the organization recently added new amenities.

Special Olympics Hawaii unveiled the revamped facility with a grand reopening on Dec. 1. Recent additions include a new warehouse for powerlifting and fitness training, and equipment storage, office and classroom space, as well as an outdoor, multi-purpose court and fields for soccer, flag football, bocce and track and field events.

According to the announcement, “the center was designed to create a safe, inclusive gathering place for athletes of all abilities, their family and friends, coaches and volunteers.”

Dan Epstein, president and CEO of Special Olympics Hawaii, told Pacific Business News in June that the organization’s capital campaign project was 95% funded toward the goal, “thanks to corporate sponsorships, as well as individual and in-kind donations.”

G70 is the design architect and Nordic PCL is the general contractor for the project, Epstein said in a recent email to PBN, adding, “We’ve also had great support from the Department of Defense, Innovative Readiness Training program.”

PBN checked in with Epstein to discuss the center’s offerings and his top goal for 2024.

When did you reach your fundraising goal for this project and what was the total cost to build? We reached our capital campaign goal for the Health and Fitness Building and Outdoor Play Court of $2,225,000 in September of 2023. The total cost to build will be very close to our campaign goal.

How will this facility enable you to better serve your athletes, staff, volunteers and community? The new Health and Fitness Building and Outdoor Play Court dramatically increases opportunities for athletes, coaches and families at our campus. The Health and Fitness Building will include training areas for our powerlifting athletes, general fitness equipment including adaptive fitness machines for all athletes and their families, a medical exam and screening area for Healthy Athlete screenings, and an area for group exercise. Additionally, the building will be used to store sports, competition and health and fundraising equipment. The Outdoor Play Court is designed to be used for basketball, volleyball, pickleball and Young Athlete programs. All venues will be used for coaches, officials and volunteer trainings in a variety of sports and events.

What is your top goal for the year ahead? Our goal for the year ahead is to continue to bring more athletes back into the program … and to reach new athletes who’ve never been a part of our program. [Regarding] our campus, we still have a few more projects we’d like to complete, which include constructing a shade structure over the Outdoor Play Court, installing permanent fencing on the perimeter and completing the landscaping of the whole property to make all areas usable for events.

Read the Article on Pacific Business News