EHCC begins upgrades thanks to new grants

EHCC is taking the first steps of an initiative to preserve and improve its home, the Old Police Station and District Courthouse. EHCC has just been awarded a grant from the Historic Hawai'i Foundation under the auspices of HHF’s Hilo Preservation and Beautification Program, which is being matched by additional resources from the Serendipity II Fund of the Hawai’i Community Foundation and members of the community. The support will enable EHCC to deal with an aggressive bee problem, tent for termites, construct interim roof repairs, and install appealing new signage.

“This grant is part of our ongoing commitment to the preservation, restoration and beautification of historically significant structures in the core downtown area of Hilo,” explains Kiersten Faulkner, Executive Director of HHF. “We are excited to work with EHCC because the goal of our program is to support historic preservation as a mechanism for building community. EHCC’s varied visual and performing arts and education programs demonstrate the same commitment to improved societal relations that underpins HHF’s programming.”

HHF’s funding of $23,000 focuses on the Old Police Station, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Serendipity II Fund provided matching funds in memory of Joseph and Luella Spadaro, formerly of Waikoloa Village. An additional match was given by community members who participate in Gamelan of the Molten Blossom, EHCC’s Javanese bronze gong orchestra. Thanks to these two matches, EHCC’s Annex (formerly the jail) and the Bob Brown Gamelan Studio (formerly the garage for the Chief of Police) will also be treated for termites.

In addition to dealing with bees and termites, the HHF grant will produce an immediate and striking visual result: Local artist Mike Shewmaker, who specializes in mirror-polished sculptures of high-grade stainless steel, is designing and installing a unique, two-sided cut aluminum sign with an acrylic underlay panel that will be illuminated at night from within. The sign’s clean, strong lines are intended to symbolize the character and resilience of EHCC.