Starting October 1st, new home builders and residential developers applying for building permits in urban Honolulu’s Kalihi-Ala Moana urban corridor will have to pay a $3,864 school impact fee. The fee, which was approved last summer, comes as state officials anticipate a boom in new residential construction.

Over 39,000 new residential units are expected on the rail line, and an estimated nine new schools would be required to accommodate new students. Existing schools are also in dire need of repairs, as highlighted in the collapse of the Farrington High School auditorium in 2012.

"Hawaii schools on average are 65 years old and they're falling apart," Corey Rosenlee, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, said in 2016. “If [the collapse] had been an hour later, there would have been children that would have probably died in that auditorium. At some point we need to get serious about funding our schools and our facilities.”

Some city officials are concerned that impact fees could hinder development. "This is gonna dampen the development potential," Kathy Sokugawa told Hawaii News Now in 2016. Hawaii News Now notes that the current impact fee is less than half of the initial $9,374 proposal.

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