During the late night hours of June 14, War Memorial Gym flooded, causing at least $200,000 in damage.
“County work crews said the watermain break was caused by someone hitting a fire hydrant in the Maui Lani subdivision at around 5:30 p.m.,” said the official County of Maui press release sent out today. “The crash blew a regulator which sent high pressure water through the system and overwhelmed the aging pipes beneath the gym sometime prior to 11:30 p.m. The water then burst through the floor in one of the gym offices. County workers at the scene overnight said there was enough water flooding hallways and offices to fill an olympic-sized pool.”
Now if you’ll think back to March, Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa asked the county to start spending $21.5 million on a new gym complex. It was the signature element of his call for the county to “be bold.”
“War Memorial Gymnasium was built in the 1950’s in honor of our Maui residents who gave their lives during military service,” Arakawa said on March 23, when he delivered his Fiscal Year 2013 budget to the Maui County Council. “The gymnasium has served this community well but we need a proper facility that will fit our growing needs. Also the cost to repair the gym continues to increase as the building gets older and things need to be replaced more often.”
But it wasn’t to be. Earlier this month, the council authorized a mere $100,000 when it passed the county’s budget. Councilmembers Mike Victorino and Riki Hokama seemed most opposed to the gym expansion plans, which was especially interesting considering that Keoki Kerr’s May expose of Maui County Council staff bonuses for Hawaii News Now identified those two as granting their staffers the most bonuses in 2011 ($13,750 and $13,000, respectively).
Irony, though soggy, is still wondrous to behold.
Here are more gym damage photos (all courtesy County of Maui):