DreamHouse Ewa Beach public charter school is postponing its opening until August 2019 because it wasn’t able to secure a facility in time to launch this fall.
The new secondary school was approved by the Public Charter School Commission in July with a two-year window to open its doors. Founding director Alex Teece said school leaders pursued numerous options for facilities that didn’t pan out but found a silver lining in a promising new partnership with Kalaeloa Heritage and Legacy Foundation.
The foundation is the steward of Kalaeloa Heritage Park, a 76-acre parcel of land between Ewa and Kapolei that it leases from the Hawaii Community Development Authority. If the partnership works out and the landowner approves, the school hopes to set up shop there.
“There is no existing infrastructure within the park,” Teece said. “We would look to build a modest but innovative campus. Right now we are considering using retrofitted portables and classrooms to get off the ground.”
>> What: DreamHouse Academy community meeting
>> When: 6 p.m. Thursday
>> Where: Ewa Beach Public Library
The DreamHouse nonprofit board has raised more than $200,000 for the school’s startup, with donations from friends, family members, local foundations and national organizations, he said.
The school aims to start with sixth-graders and expand through 12th grade, offering an alternative to crowded public schools in the area. The DreamHouse mission is to “empower homegrown leaders for our islands.”
“Hopefully we will be able to start along this pathway as soon as possible and do it the right way so that we can have a strong foundation that we can build upon,” Teece said.
Another charter school, Alaka‘i O Kauai, which was approved in July 2016, ran into similar challenges finding a location. It recently secured a site at Kahili Mountain Park and is gearing up to open in August.
DreamHouse will provide additional information at a public meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Ewa Beach Public Library.