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Construction Underway on PBS Hawaii’s NEW HOME

Leslie Wilcox, President and CEO of PBS HawaiiWhen I see heavy equipment operators at work on the site of PBS Hawaii’s future NEW HOME on Nimitz Boulevard, I think of the local expression: “Hemo and demo!” “Hemo” is pidgin for remove; “demo,” of course, is English shorthand for demolish.

Our general contractor, Allied Builders System, is going strong, taking down walls, roof lines, and other elements of the one-story former KFVE Newsplex, and carting out the rubble. Workers also are strengthening and adding infrastructure, including protected conduits to support cables and fiber links.

As the work visibly progresses to add a second story and create a modern educational media center serving all islands, more people are taking an interest and even volunteering hands-on help. We try for a personal touch at this statewide TV station—and we’re thrilled when viewers reach out to us, too.


PBS Hawaii Construction

Demolition is underway at our NEW HOME location, an acre-sized lot at the entrance to Sand Island Access Road. Work also begins on strengthening infrastructure to construct a second story.


For example, here are some ways that viewers have offered to assist:

  • A longtime Oahu nursery wants to supply some of the landscaping plants.
  • An accomplished Kauai woodworker wants to handcraft and donate a beautiful conference table.
  • A fine artist has volunteered to paint a large wall with images that reflect the people of the islands served by PBS Hawaii.

And, surprise! A top commercial television station, Hawaii News Now, made an unprecedented gift of airtime for us to make our case to a different audience. General manager Rick Blangiardi turned over to us the commercial breaks during two 10:00 pm simulcast Hawaii News Now newscasts on January 13.

Viewers from towns and hamlets from every populated Hawaiian island except Niihau have made contributions. Generally, these donors are not well-heeled philanthropists, but people of modest means who are sacrificing to make a one-time capital contribution. Our “free” over-the-air, educational programming reaches 25 of the 25 most financially disadvantaged places in the islands.

We believe in the truth of these sayings: Education is the great equalizer; and a rising tide floats all boats.

Many people care about having universal access to educational programs, with quality storytelling that profoundly touches lives. PBS Hawaii has raised $23.7 of our $30 million goal.

With extensive grassroots support and major funding from respected charitable foundations and the Hawaii State government, we are now appealing to more individuals and businesses to help us turn the corner on our goal.  We welcome checks, online donations, and appreciated securities, such as stocks and bonds; retirement assets, such as a gift from your IRA; and bequests.

We’d love to hear from you! Your name can become part of this NEW HOME, The Clarence T.C. Ching Campus, for a donation of $500 or more. And with larger amounts, there are excellent naming opportunities, such as a Keiki Neighborhood, HIKI NŌ editing suite, and an emergency broadcast center.

Please call PBS Hawaii NEW HOME at ph. 955-0500; go to PBSHawaii.org/newhome.

From “hemo and demo,” let’s work together to create a new island home for learning and discovery through authentic storytelling about Hawaii and the world.


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