Church Moves Forward With Aiea Construction Plans

t’s impossible to know just how many prayers have been sent on high by mem- bers of the Aiea Korean United Methodist Church (AKUMC) in anticipation ofitsnewhomeona4- acre parcel at the former Aiea Sugar Mill site. But if the sight of upright steel beams and grading at Ulune and Halewiliko streets mean anything, it’s that abundant

blessings are clearly flow- ing.

Community Corner… Rep.Heather Giugni

Led by senior pastor Ho Yong Kim, with the motto “A Church Built on Solid Rock,” AKUMC was found- ed in 1975 with the help of the Hawaii District California Pacific United Methodist Church. Without a place of its own, AKUMC has been sharing the space with Aiea United Methodist Church (AUMC) and, according to building chair- man Samuel Chong, “with [the] blessing of the Lord, both AUMC and AKUMC have grown to service both churches.”

According to Chong, AKUMC has been actively working on the building project and fundraising for several years. In 2008, the church selected Roy K. Yamamoto Architects AIA Inc. to share its vision, and, in 2011, the necessary building permits were obtained from the city.

“With the prayers,” said Chong, “Betsill Brothers Construction offered us the price to build the church at our budget that couldn’t be match[ed] by other con- tractors.” The project will consist of two buildings: the 9,905-square-foot main sanctuary and a 25,971- square-foot education and multipurpose building.

In response to questions I’ve been hearing from community members who are excited and curious about the new space, I met with Chong to ask him about details regarding anticipated traffic flow and activities:

Where will the main driveway entrance be?
We will have two main entrances, from Kulawea Street and Halewiliko Place. We have been working with Aiea Intermediate School, and they are experiencing heavy traffic during early morning drop-off and after school pick-up time; hence we will grant ease- ment and open (the) gate to have students picked up from Halewiliko Place. This will ease up their rush hours Monday through Friday when school is in session.

Sounds like you’re a true community partner. What other kinds of services and/or programs will be offered to the community?
We will have Korean and English worship service (on) Sundays and Wednesday nights.

Will the community be able to rent space?
We will be working on renting space for events and functions once we (have) moved in and settled in.

It is exciting to see the old sugar mill continue to be transformed into a meeting and gathering place for our community today.

Together with the Aiea Library and Community Center, AKUMC is helping to restore a place for our families and neighbors to come together. Chong esti- mates that the project will be completed in September of 2013.

State Rep. Heather Giugni serves District 33 (Aiea, Halawa Valley, Halawa Heights, Aiea Heights). Call her at 586-6340.