Carden Maui education

Carden Academy of Maui is proud to announce the opening of a new pre-kindergarten classroom and the completion of Phase One of their ‘greening’ of the campus, which included installing new air conditioners in each classroom.

Twelve four year-olds enjoyed their first day on campus on Wednesday, August 19, in a new classroom and dedicated playground, as part of the new Pre-K Program.  They joined 131 other Kindergarten through 8th Grade students at the upcountry school.  “We’ve been talking about opening a preschool for quite a few years now,” stated Nina Sato, the school’s director.  “With the change of age requirements in the public school system, and the growing need for preschools on Maui, we knew the time was right to open it now.  I’m overjoyed to see these new young faces at part of the Carden community.”  The preschool replaces the technology classroom, as the technology is now more accessible in the individual classrooms.

During the summer break, new lighting, cooling systems, and other modifications were made to each building to create optimum learning environments and healthier classrooms, while also reducing electricity costs.  The project was spearheaded by John Bendon, a Carden board member, parent, and the founding principal of Green Building Hawaii. As an example, three outdated window air conditioning units in the kindergarten classroom were replaced with one split A/C  unit, saving energy and reducing noise caused by the older units. The old A/C units will be replaced with brand new, insulated, heat reducing windows, to bring in natural light while reducing passive solar heating. Formaldehyde-free insulation, certified for school environments, was installed in many classrooms.  Several windows also received tinting, which will reduce heat transfer and result in improved energy efficiency. Lighting was another big focus for the summer project. Each classroom had the lighting optimized to support student learning by providing more uniform light distribution and optimal light levels for classroom environments. LED lights replaced fluorescent ones and energy use for each fixture was nearly cut in half while light levels were increased.  The campus already had photovoltaic solar panels in place, and the new changes bring the school closer to their goal of running at net zero for energy use.

According to Nellie Foster, the kindergarten teacher, the changes are significant.  “My classroom gets cool quickly now, and stays cool throughout the day.”  Now that school is back in session, the students and teachers will not only be enjoying their cooler, more energy efficient classrooms, but will be working the project into their curriculum, analyzing and reviewing the changes as part of their science and math courses.

The project was funded by the last year’s Annual Fund and the annual Jamboree fundraising event, which raised more than $120,000.  Carden Academy would like to recognize Haleakala Solar for donating labor to replace numerous light fixtures in Carden Hall, Green Building Hawaii and Advanced Energy Innovations for donating fixtures for Carden Hall, Scotts Cooling for donating an air conditioning unit and Randy Wagner for donating the exterior shade on 6th grade, Electric Service of Maui for discounting lighting installation costs, and Maui Glass Tinting Specialists for discounting window film.

Carden Academy purchased the two-acre campus from Grace Church in 2013.  “With ownership of the campus, we are now able to make the necessary improvements to the physical plant,” explained Sato.  “Phase Two of our plan will be more serious upgrades to some of the buildings, and we are excited to have the team from Green Building Hawaii on our side to make them as healthy and efficient as possible.”

Located in Pukalani, Maui, Carden Academy is a Prekindergarten-8th grade school offering a core academic curriculum, small class sizes, and enrichment programs including Art, Music, Dance, Drama, Foreign Language, and Physical Education.  Carden Academy is committed to educating the whole child through a balance of academic excellence, character development, and enrichment through the arts in a nurturing, small classroom setting.  For more information, please contact us at 808-573-6651 or visit our website at

Image Credit: Carden Academy of Maui


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