- Associated Press - Saturday, June 3, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) - State officials released the design plans for an upcoming school inside an affordable housing complex.

The so-called vertical school will be located on the first four floors of an upcoming residential apartment tower in the Kakaako neighborhood of Honolulu. The proposed public school would serve about 750 K-6th grade students in a growing residential area, state officials said. In addition to the school and rental residences, the building will also have retail space, according to the plans released Friday.

“We’ve discussed the possibilities of how to best serve the future educational needs of this growing area and are excited to reveal the design for this 21st century public elementary school,” Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said. “The school will have a number of sustainable features, which will provide an innovative and healthy learning atmosphere for the K-6 students in this area.”

The school’s total cost is an estimated $40 million, according to reports. State lawmakers have already set aside $16 million for the project.

The project has been an ongoing effort by the state Department of Education for several years, reports said. The department identified the area because of its condominium tower development boom.

The project is on track to move forward, but it will require the department to secure additional funding by the end of next year’s Legislative session, according to reports.

The construction of the tower is expected to begin in 2019.

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