Case Studies

Kihei Police Station

Enhancing the Maui Police Department
  • Written by: Kihei Police Station
  • Produced by: Kihei Police Station
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Police in South Maui are finally getting the space they deserve with the construction of a new station. The Kihei Police Station (KPS), a branch of the Maui Police Department, will be a huge upgrade from the 2,400-square foot space officers currently occupy in the Kihei Town Center. The new two-story building will have 68,000 square feet of space with a number of amenities for the department.

F&H Construction (F&H), the general contractor for KPS, began construction in January 2012. Tim O’Brien, project manager for F&H, reports the $28 million project will entail site work, traffic control, utilities, landscaping, as well as three new buildings: the main police station, equipment/forensics and a central plant (mechanical).

Capt. Tivoli Faaumu, commander of the Kihei Patrol District, told The Maui News that 45 people work out of the current small space with only one bathroom. “We manage with what we have, but this is an exciting moment,” the newspaper quotes Faaumu as saying.

The on-site construction will involve major site grading, the installation of new underground utility infrastructure, as well as the construction of the 60,000-gross-square-foot two-story main building and the 6,000-gross-square-foot one-story central plant building. Additional site improvements – comprised of a new 207-stall, on-grade parking lot, a secured vehicle impound lot and site landscaping utilizing indigenous plants – will complete the project. In addition, the completed project will feature office space, holding cells and accommodations for the police department, including a gym, training room and kitchen facilities.

F&H is working closely with the department and design team to ensure this building is a more suitable solution for the department. The company is also delivering the project for nearly $8 million less than Maui County officials had originally budgeted.

Challenging Terrain

The new building is also being built on land out of tsunami zone flood range. The current operations are within the flood zone, which has led to time-consuming, costly problems in the past. Floods from heavy rains have damaged patrol cars and tsunami warnings often lead officers to spend three to four hours moving cars and supplies as a precaution.

The 10-acre lot the new station is being built on has proved to be a difficult area to build, however. O’Brien reports the lot is all volcanic rock that required a lot of blasting operations just to get started.

“The biggest challenge on this project is the site work and the underground utilities due to the geology out here,” O’Brien says. “It’s just not going out, putting an excavator on the job and starting to dig.”

F&H is a California-based construction company with offices in Hawaii. The company has 50 years of experience and has earned a reputation for its quality and cost-saving innovation. O’Brien has been working for the company in Hawaii for the past two of his six years with F&H.

Most of the jobs O’Brien has overseen are similar to the KPS build, but the terrain and other unforeseen obstacles have slowed the progress of the job. “When we got out here, on the third day we were clearing stuff and discovered an undisclosed fiber optic line,” he says.

Luckily, F&H crews found the line before it was damaged or disturbed by construction work. According to O’Brien, the fiber optic line runs underground on the island and on the sea floor between the islands of Hawaii, providing communications and Internet to residents, business people and military operations.

“The second that line goes down, people start losing business,” says O’Brien. “Some of the largest ongoing lawsuits with construction companies are due to damaged fiber optic lines.”

Once that discovery was made and changes to the construction approach decided upon, F&H moved forward with the project. This also includes digging a trench across the nearby four-lane highway to connect sewer and water with county services underground and erecting 70-foot posts for electrical service to span the highway.

Juggling a Tight Schedule

As plans were laid out for the KPS building, an 18-month timeline was set in place. The size and scope of this project could really warrant a two-year schedule, according to O’Brien, but F&H is doing its best to stay on schedule. “This job in 18 months is a challenge,” says O’Brien. “We’re about 60 days behind schedule right now.”

F&H is self-performing all the concrete work on the project, which is a major component. Other elements of the job are subcontracted out to different trades. Managing the timeline includes making sure all the subcontractors are meeting deadlines, but it also requires F&H to adapt as issues arise or if weather becomes a problem. O’Brien hopes to catch up to the schedule by adding crews to the worksite and making small changes structurally to save time. “By the time it’s all said and done, we probably will run about 30 days over schedule,” he says.

F&H Construction plans to have the building complete by June 2013. The new station will allow more room for current sworn and civilian staff, with room to grow. Officials expect that by the time the new station is fully open, there will be about 100 people working at Kihei Police Station, and they and the community will benefit from the new facility’s enhanced resources.

Published on: April 25, 2013

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