By Associated Press - Thursday, June 19, 2014

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - The Hawaii National Guard is opening a new building and campus in Hilo for its at-risk youth program.

A ribbon cutting ceremony and blessing will be held on Thursday for the Youth Challenge Academy’s new facilities at Keaukaha Military Reservation.

The academy provides 16-to-18 year-old “at risk” teenagers a second chance to obtain their high school diplomas.

The National Guard set up its first such academy on Oahu in 1994. It opened its second at Kulani on the Big Island in 2009 after the state closed a prison there.

The state may reopen Kulani prison now that the Youth Challenge Academy has new facilities.

The new building and upgrades to existing structures at Keaukaha cost about $5.6 million.

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