School looks ahead to future growth - IA Q and sustainability are features of the school

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HONOLULU — Iolani School may be one of the finest K- 12 schools in the United States, and it’s located on some prime real estate too: Oahu, Hawaii. From its academic program to its mechanical and IAQ systems, the independent school continues to challenge itself to stay on the forefront of technology and education.

In 2003, the school completed construction of the first phase of a campus master plan — the largest capital project in the school’s history. The next phase is now being developed.

Teachers and administrators at Iolani School have developed a curriculum that teaches not only the basics (reading, writing, and mathematics), but is also said to teach the 1,800-plus students how to develop thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving skills; “to explore conceptual frameworks, to see the connectedness of bodies of knowledge, to hone verbal skills, and to discover individual creativity.”

Class sizes are small, with an estimated student-teacher ratio of 11:1, depending on the class; Kindergarten classes tend to be among the smallest.

The school also claims to have one of the highest teacher retention rates among independent schools in the country. Part of the overall success must be due to the administration’s willingness to look into technical building solutions to create a better learning environment.

Capital Ideas

With the 2003 completion of the Weinberg Classroom/Kozuki Stadium/Multipurpose Complex, Iolani School finished the first phase in a 20-year master plan to enhance facilities on this 20-acre campus, said Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO).

“Most notable improvements include 32 classrooms, four physics suites, a biology laboratory, a computer laboratory, a meeting room that comfortably seats 400 people, parking for 350 cars, office space, an athletic stadium, open space, an environmentally friendly campus- wide chilled-water loop for air conditioning, and handicap access,” the school said.

One of the oldest schools in Hawaii — it was founded in 1863 — the school’s aesthetic design reflects the school’s roots as an Anglican school founded by English clergy during Hawaii’s monarchy period. The project’s goal was to implement sustainable design strategies and technology without changing the look of the school.

Sustainability and efficiency were key for the complex’s main buildings: the 74,000-square-foot Weinberg Classroom building and the 174,000-square-foot Kozuki Stadium/Multipurpose Complex.

“More than 75 percent of the occupied space in this complex incorporates daylighting,” said HECO. The system combines aluminum light shelves, light pipes, low-e glass, VAV, and DDC systems to enhance energy performance.

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