Kūlanihāko‘i High School, Phase 2

South Maui families had been eagerly awaiting the completion of a new high school, since about a third of the students at Maui High School have been commuting from the Kihei and Wailea area. The Department of Education responded with the design and construction of the Kūlanihāko‘i High School campus.

Phase II encompassed the upper campus with the administration, library, and cafeteria buildings, two classroom buildings, along with physical education locker room facility, a basketball court, temporary playfield, and open spaces. Coffman (as Shigemura, Lau, Sakanashi, Higuchi and Associates, Inc.) provided the structural engineering design services for the five buildings as well as a pedestrian bridge, covered walkways and site retaining walls in this phase of the new high school campus.

The design utilized primary building materials of structural steel, cast-in-place concrete, and concrete masonry (CMU). Building walls were constructed with ground face CMU. The second floors of the two-story buildings were framed with structural steel beams and a steel deck with concrete topping. A long span decorative steel floor deck was used where the architect wanted to leave the soffit exposed. The roofs were framed with structural steel beams and steel deck. Long span roof decking was used at the roof where it was to remain exposed. Each of the two classroom buildings feature a curved shape roof, which required bending of the steel beams during fabrication.

Building D, housing the cafeteria on the first floor and library on the second floor, conforms to the Hawaii State Building Code requirements for an Enhanced Hurricane Protection Area (EHPA). The criteria apply to high occupancy state-owned buildings that can be occupied during hurricanes of up to Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Impact resistant glazing was provided to reduce the likelihood of windborne debris causing a breach in the building envelope during a windstorm.

Future phases will continue construction as funding is available. At full capacity, the campus is designed for an enrollment of 1,600 students.

The name honors the Kūlanihākoʻi Stream and gulch, which run adjacent to the campus on its northern boundary, and once sustained the Kaʻonoʻulu ahupuaʻa and brought life to the land through farms and fishponds.

The project was designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification.


  • Education


  • Structural Engineering