Wednesday, Oct. 04, 2023|
Share this story
Renovations to the former Hilo Memorial Hospital should begin by summer of 2024, architects say.
The old hospital building, currently leased to HOPE Services Hawaii and the Big Island Substance Abuse Council, is in need of substantial restoration work after decades of degradation. The building is well over a century old, having opened in 1897 and operated until what is now the Hilo Medical Center opened in the 1950s.
Representatives of Honolulu firm FAI Architects said the first phase of a planned renovation project should go out to bid next year.
That first phase, the design for which is being finalized, will involve reroofing the building and replacing the corrugated steel roof with hexagonal shingles authentic to the building’s original construction, said Ian Pitts, preservation designer for FAI Architects.
“The building has lost its historical integrity over years of renovations,” Pitts said. “By going back to the hexagonal shingles, that’s the first step to restore that historical integrity. Once it’s all done, we’re hoping we can get it listed on the National Register of Historic Places.”
The reroofing also is a necessary preamble to more extensive interior and exterior renovations, which Pitts said will be considered a wholly separate project.
Roughly $13 million in federal funds were earmarked for the first phase last year.
A representative of the County Office of Housing and Community Development said the success of the first phase should make funding for subsequent phases easier to obtain.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *