Gov. Neil Abercrombie has released $1 million in capital improvement grant funds to the Pacific Gateway Center, which will use the money to turn the historic Kakaako Pumping Station near Downtown Honolulu nto a community resource center.
The community center itself will cater to the senior population with intergenerational programs that bring in Hawaii’s youth to help older adults through workshops and services such as computer classes.
“[The pumping station] needs to be preserved, cherished and used,” said Tin Myaing Thein, PGC’s executive director, who is currently working on the project’s environmental assessment. “It’s a beautiful building.”
Thein also mentioned that the grant funds are enough for the main building, but PGC will have to look for funding for the other parts of the station.
PGC primarily helps immigrants, refugees, and low-income residents of Hawaii with job skills and training, job placement, business law and more.
The Hawaii Architectural Foundation has also spent some time restoring parts of the pumping station in 2007. The station was originally built in 1900 and designed by Oliver Traphagen, who also designed the Moana Hotel in Waikiki, the Palama Fire Station, and the Judd Building in Downtown Honolulu.