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50 years of Model Homes celebrated at Alumni and Friends event and dedication ceremony

Hawai'i Community College celebrated 50 years of the Model Home Project on April 28 with a reunion event hosted by Hawai'i CC Alumni and Friends, followed by a dedication ceremony on May 11 where the college and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands handed the house keys to this year's recipient.


Impromptu hula generated sunny smiles, as Hawaiʻi Community College dedicated the college’s 50th model home built by students and handed the keys to the new homeowner, Luana Dang and her family.

“Hawaiʻi Community College is nō ka ʻoi,” said Dang. “I hope my grandchildren come here.”

Students in five Hawaiʻi CC programs built the home. More than 4,000 students have participated since the Model Home Project was established in 1965 to give students in construction trade programs a hands-on learning experience.

“You just learn so many world experiences,” said Carpentry student Keoki Baily. “After this you can go outside and build your own house.”

“This project has meant a lot to me because it helps us to get ready for the outside field of work,” said Agriculture student Tyson Ah Puck.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands acts as the developer, while Hawaiʻi CC provides the skilled labor at no cost, resulting in an affordable home for a local family.

Carpentry Professor Gene Harada, who built model homes as a student and graduated from Hawaiʻi CC in 1975, is a shining example of how the program continues to give back to the community.

“We’ve been very fortunate that so far I have 15 past graduates since 1991 that have gotten their contractors license and they are coming back to hire our students,” said Harada.

Here’s to the next 50 years!

Dedication Photo Gallery>>>




Hawai'i CC Alumni and Friends hosted a sold-out reunion event on Friday, April 28. The event honored the legacy of the Model Home Project and its importance to students, the community, families, and the local construction industry.

The fun-filled event brought together Model Home alumni, current students, faculty, retired faculty and community supporters. Hosted at the campus center dining hall at UH Hilo, the reunion featured a lively auction that raised funds to support the Model Home Project Endowment, several speakers, awards, and a buffet dinner and drinks. Mahalo to the sponsors and volunteers who made this such a wonderful event and to everyone who has made the Model Home Project such a successful project for the past five decades!

Model Home Project Alumni Reflections Video>>>

Event Photo Gallery>>>