Kamehameha Schools Celebrate Opening of Kalanihookaha Community Learning Center


Kalanihookaha Community Learning Center (KCLC) in the center of Nānākuli village. PC: Courtesy of Kamehameha Schools

A place for community gatherings and programs for youth and young adults

Kamehameha Schools celebrated the opening of the new Kalanihookaha Community Learning Center (KCLC) in the center of Nānākuli village on O’ahu with a small blessing and an open house.

Named for the professional legacy of Dr. Agnes Kalanihookaha Cope, known affectionately to many as “Aunt Aggie,” a longtime resident of Nānākuli and champion of Native Hawaiian health, education, culture and arts ; the new center will serve as a gathering and learning place for community residents and program partners. It will support ‘āina-based programs, career development and training and provide a hotbed of lifelong learning opportunities for Native Hawaiians and those in the surrounding community.

Kalanihookaha Community Learning Center (KCLC) in the center of Nānākuli village. PC: Courtesy of Kamehameha Schools

“We recognize the many organizations that are uplifting our Lāhui in this community,” said Kalei Kailihiwa, KS Regional Director, Community Strategies. “Once the Kalanihookaha Community Learning Center is completed, we will look to these partners to create, transform and nurture environments that foster iwi leadership,” said Kailihiwa.

KCLC’s vision was made possible through vital partnerships including the Hawaii State Department of Lands, NHHCA, and support from the Hawaiian Community Development Board. Led by Aunt Aggie’s son Kanahele, the NHHCA has an office in KCLC and will use the center as a base for their education programs and efforts. Kamehameha Schools and community partners will further support Aunt Aggie’s professional legacy in health, education, culture and the arts.


The $ 10.9 million learning center opened in April 2019 and completed construction a year later, but has delayed opening and scheduling due to COVID-19. The resulting project is a one-story building that covers 6,828 square feet and includes a large multipurpose room with flexible space, a covered veranda for indoor and outdoor use, a service kitchen, a large pavilion and an area. preparation or exterior.


Fronting the Center is a life-size humpback whale sculpture – Koholā Ola, brought to life by the many hands of Wai’anae Moku keiki and community members under the direction of artist Sooriya Kumar. Koholā symbolizes one of the highest and most sacred forms of Kanaloa and signifies knowledge, intelligence and a deep connection.

Among the celebrants in attendance were Kamaki Kanahele of the Nānākuli Hawaiian Homestead Community Association (NHHCA), Lani Smithson, sr. project manager, Kiewit Building Group; Helena Jubany, Senior Director, NAC Architecture; Glenn Yokotake, President and Director, GD Designs; Grant Murakami, Vice-President, PBR Hawaiʻi & Associates Inc .; Darin Pilialoha, Director, Nānākuli High & Intermediate; Carlos Peñaloza, Chancellor, Leeward Community College; and KS CEO Jack Wong, KS Administrator Lance Wilhelm and project staff.

Kalanihookaha Community Learning Center (KCLC) in the center of Nānākuli village. PC: Courtesy of Kamehameha Schools

KCLC is gradually implementing programs focused on youth, from 16 years to young adults. In its first year, the Center committed to partnering with the State Department of Education’s Papahana O Kaiona alternative learning program for at-risk high school students and the Center’s program. Makaha cultural learning for trades certification courses. In the following years, more program partners who can accelerate the pace, scale and reach to develop ‘ōiwi leaders such as Leeward Community College, American Job Centers and the Wai’anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center will impact on KCLC.

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