A printed story of the physical growth of the Hakalau School in the last forty years makes interesting reading and gives a most vivid picture of the development of the school system in Hawaii. What took place at Hakalau is significant and representative of what has taken place in all parts of the islands.
When Principal E.S. Capellas came to Hakalau in September 1901, the school plant consisted of one half acre of land, one old school building of rough 1x12 lumber, and one tiny two-room teachers' cottage. He opened school on September 1, 1901, with twenty-eight pupils enrolled in all grades from the receiving to the fifth, inclusive.
To the left is the first Hakalau School, a one-room building of rough 1"x12" lumber. To the right is the teacher's cottage revamped in 1904.
To the left stands Miss Lydia Macy who later became Mrs. James Henderson of Hilo. She was the first assistant teacher appointed to the Hakalau School.
In 1911, ten years after, the school plant had grown and developed so that there was a lot of four acreas in area, a modern four-room school building, four teachers, and 182 children.
In 1921, there were 11 teachers and 350 children with three school buildings and two teachers' cottages to accommodate the increase in the enrollment and faculty.
In 1931, we find the Hakalau School with a campus of eleven and a half acres of land, 22 teachers, five school buildings, 621 children and three teachers' cottages, This was when the school enrollment in the territory was at its peak.
Today, in June, 1941, the Hakalau School has been elevated in status to an Intermediate School. The campus area is still eleven acres and a half, but the buildings have increased to seven, including class room buildings, shop, homemaking building and a modern auditorium-gymnasium. Due to the decrease in school enrollments in the lower or elementary grades throughout the territory, the school attendance at Hakalau has decresed to 518 children as of June 1941.
Whereas, in 1901, the academic level was something like the 5th grade, today the academic department of the school consists of grades one to tenth inclusive. The courses offered correspond and are on a par with those offered on all territorial intermediate schools, with the 10th grade carrying on a curriculum modeled after that of the Hilo Senior High School, so that any Hakalau graduate who desires to continue his studies at the Hilo High may do so without experiencing any difficulty in placement.