- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

HONOLULU (AP) - The University of Hawaii wants to spend $5.2 million to complete the design phase for the planned center named after the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.

The Board of Regents Planning and Facilities Committee on Wednesday voted to recommend the funding for full board approval. The money would come from an allotment already set aside for the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Democratic Leadership to be built at the Manoa campus, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (https://ow.ly/DW3Bm ) reported.

“We’re not talking construction at this point. We’re just talking design money,” said regent Barry Mizuno, chair of the committee.

After Inouye’s death in 2012, the university developed a proposal for a center that would house his congressional papers. But the project drew criticism for its speed and price tag.

Construction will cost $39 million and more than $50 million overall, according to university estimates. Groundbreaking is expected in a year to 18 months.

The university agreed to slow down on plans after Inouye’s family asked the university to take more time to get public feedback.

Private funds will be used to pay for “the nice-to-have” such as contemporary design fixtures, said Jennifer Sabas, Inouye’s longtime chief of staff and now director of the Daniel K. Inouye Institute.

The Legislature is expected to pick up the tab for the bulk of the construction costs.

“We want to be sure that what we say we can build, we stay within budget,” Sabas said of the upcoming design phase, which is expected to take about a year.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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