Glenn Yano and former State Rep. Virginia Isbell untie the maile lei to reopen Yano Hall. Looking on is Managing Director Wally Lau, Reverend Jiko Nakade, Councilmembers Dru Mamo Kanuha and Brenda Ford, Kona Regional Senior Club President Sharen Bangay, and Mayor Billy Kenoi.
Glenn Yano and former State Rep. Virginia Isbell untie the maile lei to reopen Yano Hall. Looking on is Managing Director Wally Lau, Reverend Jiko Nakade, Councilmembers Dru Mamo Kanuha and Brenda Ford, Kona Regional Senior Club President Sharen Bangay, and Mayor Billy Kenoi.

A major $753,000 renovation of the Sgt. Rodney J. T. Yano Memorial Hall, a popular facility in Captain Cook, was completed today with a rededication ceremony. Yano Hall hosts a variety of senior programs and is also available for community events.

Stan’s Contracting re-roofed three buildings, removed hazardous building materials, replaced floor tiles, made accessibility improvements, and painted under a $702,978 contract. Funding came from a mix of Community Development Block Grant funds and County capital improvement funds.

Seven months of major renovations began in April 2013, followed by in-house work by Department of Parks and Recreation staff to beautify the exterior of the facility and remodel the kitchen with new accessible counters, cabinets, and appliances. Their work is valued at $50,000.

“The reason I feel blessed to have grown up in this beautiful, wonderful community is because of our kūpuna. What we have didn’t just magically appear. What we have was given to us by our kūpuna,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi on the importance of supporting senior programs in his remarks at the rededication ceremony.

The Kona Daifukuji Mission in Honalo hosted the senior programs that were displaced by the renovation for the duration of the project. The misson’s Reverend Jiko Nakade performed the blessing at today’s rededication.

The Sgt. Rodney J. T. Yano Memorial Hall opened in December 1970. It is named after Sergeant First Class Rodney James Takahashi Yano, who was born in Kealakekua. He served in the Army’s 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and was killed in action in Vietnam. A grenade detonated in his helicopter, but before Yano died, he threw burning ammunition out of the helicopter to save the rest of his crew. For his bravery, he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Rodney’s brother Glenn Yano and other members of the Yano family were in attendance at today’s rededication.

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