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The Old Maui High School, Hawaii

Viktoriia Makeenko
Moises de la vera 
Moises de la vera 

In the east of Maui, Hawaii, is the Hamakuapoko countryside. It was here that, in 1913, the Maui State High School was founded.

In those days, students got to school either by using a horse and buggy or via the Kahului Railway, which no longer exists. As the school grew, students came from surrounding communities via bus or horseback as well or walked there using well-worn paths.

The high school was founded by missionaries and the owners of nearby sugar plantations. The founders’ goal was to give the local children the opportunity to get an education so that they could pursue careers in both academic and vocational fields.

Author: Kirt Edblom – Flickr @kirt_edblom – CC BY-SA 2.0

Author: Kirt Edblom – Flickr @kirt_edblom – CC BY-SA 2.0

The construction of the central administrative building was completed by 1921. Hawaiian architect Charles William Dickey created a mission-style concrete building to act as a classroom.

The cost of construction was $66,000, and this impressive structure was designed to take advantage of the site’s wonderful landscape and views.

While the campus was in operation, many further buildings were added until the area of the school reached 24 acres.

Later structures included cottages for teachers, various sports grounds and a gymnasium, an agricultural complex, and even a cafeteria.

In 1939, the Maui school had 1,000 students enrolled. It had become incredibly popular not just for the educational opportunities it offered but also for the variety of clubs and extra-curricular activities that went on there.

Sports clubs offered football and basketball, and societies included proms, a dramatic society, and even a student government.

Author: Flickr @kaparker99 – CC BY 2.0

Author: Flickr @kaparker99 – CC BY 2.0

However, the numbers that the high school saw in 1939 were the peak of its popularity and, over time, attendance at Maui State High School began to decline.

This was due to Baldwin High School being built and families moving to central Maui when the plantation camps closed.

The final blow occurred in 1972 when a new Maui High School was built in Kaluhui. At this point, the old Maui High School had to close its doors forever.

Since then, the whole site has been abandoned and left to deteriorate. Over the years, several fires occurred, and there were also several attempts to demolish the building.

For a long time, nature swallowed the library, greenery climbing up to obscure the impressive arches and spires that Dickey had built.

The roof gradually fell in and the windows were smashed by nature or vandals. Only the columns and walls survived mostly intact, but the site was littered with rubbish and debris.

Moises de la vera 

Moises de la vera 

In 2003, this place was nominated to the State and National Register of Historic Places. In 2004, a selection of graduates, community members, and builders formed a volunteer group called the Friends of Old Maui High.

They felt that the old school was a significant part of their history, and they wanted to save it.

Consequently, restoration work was carried out on the campus to turn the abandoned site into a center of public pride.

The Friends have developed a conservation plan in conjunction with the government and private groups. The intention is to turn the old school into the Patsy Takemoto Mink Center, honoring one of the school’s most famous alumni.

The Friends are dedicated to restoring Maui’s old high school because they see it as a symbol of their community’s values. The old school sent out many students into the world, some of whom have gone on to great things.

The old school is a testament to the hardworking and diverse families who sent their children there to follow their dreams and aspirations.

As happens with many abandoned places that were once filled with bustle and life, rumors and legends have grown up around this place. For example, the ghosts of former students and school administrators are said to roam the area.

One of the most common legends centers on a former restroom that has been boarded up. Plenty of people say that they’ve heard a girl inside crying, and others have reported encounters with “choking” ghosts.

There are enough legends associated with this site that various event groups have hosted ghost walks or Halloween events here.

Moises de la vera

Moises de la vera

 

Author: Forest & Kim Starr – www.starrenvironmental.com – CC BY 3.0

Author: Forest & Kim Starr – www.starrenvironmental.com – CC BY 3.0

 

Author: Forest & Kim Starr – www.starrenvironmental.com – CC BY 3.0

Author: Forest & Kim Starr – www.starrenvironmental.com – CC BY 3.0

 

Author: Forest & Kim Starr – www.starrenvironmental.com – CC BY 3.0

Author: Forest & Kim Starr – www.starrenvironmental.com – CC BY 3.0

 

Author: Forest & Kim Starr – www.starrenvironmental.com – CC BY 3.0

Author: Forest & Kim Starr – www.starrenvironmental.com – CC BY 3.0

 

Author: Forest & Kim Starr – www.starrenvironmental.com – CC BY 3.0

Author: Forest & Kim Starr – www.starrenvironmental.com – CC BY 3.0

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Author: Forest & Kim Starr – www.starrenvironmental.com – CC BY 3.0

Author: Forest & Kim Starr – www.starrenvironmental.com – CC BY 3.0