County has blessing ceremony for Kuawa Street ball fields

  • STEPHANIE SALMONS/Tribune-Herald From left, project manager Scot Yoshimura, with Isemoto Contracting, Mayor Harry Kim and county Parks and Recreation Director Roxcie Waltjen are pictured at the conclusion of a blessing ceremony Wednesday for the new Kuawa Street park.

  • STEPHANIE SALMONS/Tribune-Herald Mayor Harry Kim sits on the bleachers at the Kuawa Street park following a blessing ceremony Wednesday.

A blessing ceremony was conducted Wednesday for the new — and long-awaited — Kuawa Street ball fields.

“This day has been a long time coming, and there’s been some hurdles along the way, but with teamwork and the pulling together of every single person here and every agency that you’re affiliated with, today is a good day,” county Parks and Recreation Director Roxcie Waltjen told the crowd of nearly two dozen who gathered.

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“This is a great day. This makes up for all the bad days that we’ve had.”

Work on the long-delayed park, located in Hilo on Kuawa Street between Kamehameha Avenue and the Ho‘olulu Complex, was initially expected to be completed in October 2016 but was pushed back to 2017 because of soil contamination and heavy rain.

In 2017, drainage problems prevented grass from growing in the park as well as expected, among other issues.

Last year, a new “crown,” or high point that allows water to drain off the field toward low-lying areas or dry wells, was formed, new soil was put in and the fields were seeded.

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The park was built by Isemoto Contracting and designed by SSFM International, and the corrective work was done at no additional cost to the county.

At this time, field use is by reservation only. To reserve the fields, call Ho‘olulu Complex at 961-8720.

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