Polynesian-influenced pavilion built in vacant area near science classes

Written by: 
Helam Lau

A new pavilion is in the process of being built near the math and science building. Randy Sharp, who is the director of the Facility Management Department of BYU-Hawaii, explained his vision of the pavilion as a new comfortable, attractive place for students to relax, study, and eat, while cooperating designs inspired by the Polynesian culture.


Sharp said, “The purpose of this project is we want to make the campus more good looking and environment friendly for students so they can have a place with comfortable sitting, talking, studying, and relaxing between classes. It is a leisure place for them.”


He said he is hoping to continue redesigning four other areas that are ]vacant so students have a place to rest near the McKay building.


“The landscape project in the McKay building courtyard has taken place for about 10 months. Based on the progress right now, only three more weeks are needed to finish it. Clean up and benches are the only things left.”


In the process of the project, Sharp said he is trying to get an idea of what students prefer in terms of design for each courtyard. “We are doing the experiment. We would see if the students prefer courtyards, open with sunshine or shade. If the students prefer the courtyard with pavilions providing shade, we would make the rest of the courtyards like this.”


Kyle Raney, who works under the Auto CAD and Engineering department for the Polynesian Cultural Center, coordinated the people who were involved in the carvings and designs for the pavilion.


“Our part is to follow up with landscaping and the structure of the courtyard. I think the courtyards look beautiful,” said Rainey. “I think the students would really appreciate how it looks. It would be a great space for them to relax or hang out together.”


Sharp said, “The Polynesian Cultural Center volunteered to help, providing missionaries and student helpers who did all of the carvings of the pavilion’s pillars in the courtyard.


“Some materials of the project were donated. We also have the help from the missionaries to do the concrete part. The labor part is pretty much free.”


People interviewed, mentioned some technical issues and a delay in finishing the project. Raney said, “Drainage issues were being addressed in the space underground. We had to take out the trees so dirt was left. Concrete leftovers were still on the pathway. When we first started, no structures were there.


“Miscommunication between BYUH and PCC occurred during the project. The missionaries from PCC came and dug out the holes in order to pour the concrete the next day.”


“But some of the contractor workers from BYUH thought the holes were supposed to be covered up, so they filled them in.”


Raney said due to the miscommunication, their design had to be changed and modified.


Elder Craig Ames, a missionary who works as an architect for the PCC, said, “The students were involved in the McKay project because they worked in the carving department for the PCC.


“The carver department was invited to provide carvings to represent different Polynesian cultures for the pavilion.


Ames said there were 10 different cultures being represented, some including Samoa, Tahiti, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Tonga.“The courtyard turned out quite well mostly because of the carving features, which makes it really unique.”


Douglas Christy, who is a carver working for the PCC ,said, “I was assigned to do the Fiji pole. The main theme of the pole is flowers as the Fiji culture has a lot of flowers.”


Olive Yee Yee Mon, a senior from Myanmar majoring in social work, said she is working as a carver for the PCC. “I did the New Zealand and Hawaii poles. It was hard to come up with the design at the beginning, but our supervisor has helped us a lot.”


The pavilion will not only has poles displaying the diversity of Polynesian culture, but plants will also be cultivated to put into the courtyard.


Phil Bruner, a biology professor, added, “In the courtyard, there are two native Hawaiian plants - Kokia and also Nanu, which is an endangered species. Plants from Europe and Asia like taro can be found here.”


Sharp said, “I hope the students or the clubs would use the courtyard when the project is done. If there are [at least] 10 students who love it, it is all worth it.”

Date Published: 
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Last Edited: 
Saturday, November 11, 2017