Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, offered the dedicatory prayer for the rededication of the student residential buildings Hale 4 and Hale 6 on Saturday, Feb. 25. Alongside President and Sister Tanner, Elder Kim B. Clark, commissioner of Church Education System, and an original labor missionary who helped construct the building back in 1955, Elder Oaks said, “The dedication of a building is like setting a person apart... setting them apart from the normal activities.”
Stephen Spiegler, a project manager for Okland Construction from Pupukea, said he appreciated the dedication ceremony for the buildings he helped build. He said 300 to 400 different people and 20 to 25 different subcontractoring companies were involved on the construction work over the course of construction - as well as the BYU-Hawaii staff who helped them coordinate this project. He said he enjoyed being “in the presence of one of the general authorities.”
President John Tanner said, “I felt when I first came to this university I wanted to build on the foundations that have been laid. I hope and pray that everyone associated with or living in these buildings will radiate light.”
Elder Clark said, “My hope is the apartments reflect the principles God taught us in this life and the eternal life.”
He said the buildings would become places where the Holy Ghost could reside to “teach others to build the eternal families.” He concluded his remarks, “We want them to go forward and create eternal families.”
Jessica Birch, a sophomore from Maui majoring in biomedical science, said, “Non-church colleges don’t do this kind of stuff, and I think it makes me more like Christlike and makes sure we are doing the right things.”
Joan Rey, a freshman majoring in information system from Philippines, said, “[Since] the building was dedicated by someone special such as one of the apostles, the Spirit can reside within the building, especially if the students make the effort to help the Spirit reside there by making their personal study more special.”
Siegler said Hale 6 was completely demolished while Hale 4’s infrastructure was kept in place, and the building was reconstructed.
“Originally, Hale 4 and Hale 6 were both two story buildings. So for the renovation of Hale 4, we stripped the roof off, took out everything inside basically and just left the shell. Then we framed the third story on the top and turned the building from single student dorms, which were just beds, to actual apartments.” He said the dorms also have whole kitchens and bathrooms in each unit.
For Hale 6, the whole building was torn down “and rebuilt because of its proximity to the flood zone,” Siegler said. “We actually took the original Hale 6, crushed it up, and turned it to gravel, and that’s what we used to build [on top of]. So, Hale 6 is literally built on itself.”
Hanseul Jung, a junior from South Korea studying business management, said, “I think it’s really good for girls because everybody cooks their food on their own.”
Rey said, “It’s very convenient and everything is accessible compared to the old ones. They have kitchen in each unit, so they can cook whenever they want, and they have two sets of rest rooms and showers.”
Spiegler said the first floor of Hale 6 “was always wet” when the flooding occurred in the past, but thanks to this renovation work, it was “built up about three feet and additional drainage was put around the building.” If any major flooding happened, he added, “it would still be able to take it out to the ocean instead of into the building.”
The rededication of Hales 4 and 6 signal the completion of the first phase of housing, said Spiegler.
He continued, “Now all 10 Hales are built, so the growth on campus can now continue as far as putting the students in housing on campus.”
NOTE: This story's online publishing was delayed because it was featured in the March 2017 print issue.