Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge


Project Title: Construct Headquarters and Visitor Building (FFS #R1AA)

State: Hawaii

Project Description: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded a $4.9 million contract to Bodell Construction, Inc., under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

“Not only are we putting people to work in Hawai‘i, but we’re creating a visitor center that will benefit local residents, visitors, and the wildlife of Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge,” said Secretary Salazar. “This will only be the second visitor center for a national wildlife refuge in the State, and it has great potential to inform and educate people about their native wildlife.”

The ARRA funding will finance the construction of a new 7,500-square foot building to be used as a visitor center and refuge office for the Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge on the island of Maui. The building replaces a small trailer and will feature an exhibit hall, a multi-purpose room, a reception area and a lobby/bookstore. The construction project is expected to employ approximately 20 full-time workers, though as many as 35 workers may be on site at any given time.

“This facility is a significant upgrade from the existing mobile office and will provide an environmentally friendly facility for the refuge,” Bodell Construction Estimating Director Evan Farnsworth said. “We are committed to continued work on the island of Maui and to keeping our people employed there. Considering our project manager and our project superintendent both live on the island, I guess you could say Bodell Construction has significant personal interest in the Keālia Pond project.”

A 2006 fire destroyed a double-wide trailer that served as the refuge offices, and the staff has used a single-wide mobile building as office space since January 2007.

“We are currently open to the public, but with our single trailer we really have no way of adequately serving them,” Keālia Pond NWR Manager Glynnis Nakai said. “We have never had a building attached to the ground, and certainly we have never had a facility where we can educate and interact with the school children and other visitors. This is a very exciting time for us.”

October 2010 Project Update: The Keālia Pond NWR headquarters/visitor center project is progressing. Within the past week, trenching for the waterlines (County potable and fireline) and underground electrical conduit and installation of lines has been started. On September 27 and 28, Bodell’s subcontractor is drilling the 16 piers for the visitor center entrance. These will be poured on September 30. The next milestone is October 12 and 14, when the building pad is poured. An ARRA update report will be submitted after this stage is completed.


04-01-10_kealia-pond-nwr_2The area where construction of the new facility will take place.  04-01-10_kealia-pond-nwr_1In 2006, a fire destroyed the inside of the refuge offices. 
10-01-10_kealia-pond-nwr_1The first concrete pourings and rebar footings for the new Kealia Pond NWR HQ/VC building. 03-31-11_kealia-pond-nwr_r1aa_1 The trailer which serves as temporary office quarters for Kealia Pond NWR staff.
03-31-11_kealia-pond-nwr_r1aa_2An aerial view of the work site after the pouring of the concrete foundation. Photo was taken on taken on January 11, 2011.

Press Release: Secretary Salazar Announces $4.9 Million of Economic Recovery Funding for Hawai‘i’s Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge Project

Originally posted 04/01/2010
Updated 10/01/2010
Updated 10/05/2010
Updated 03/31/2011

DOI Recovery Investments by Bureau

Last Updated: February 02, 2012
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