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Campus and Learning Environments

Few schools can claim a sense of place as strong as Punahou's. Sheltered by Manoa Valley and nourished by the waters of Ka Punahou, the lands of the New Spring have nurtured and sustained children and adults for nearly two centuries. While the campus continues to evolve, it sustains a timeless connection to Hawai'i and its own history. Today, we are preparing for the future with thoughtful campus planning that enhances the landscape of learning that is so central to the Punahou experience. 

The key to engagement, many educators are discovering, is meeting children where their own curiosity becomes a powerful incentive for learning. This inquiry-based approach channels children’s natural inquisitiveness into meaningful growth experiences. Ideas like these demand a reexamination of learning environments in order to be thoroughly explored. 

Highly flexible spaces support faculty and students as they explore larger and smaller group settings, mixed age levels and activities that include a significant dose of hands-on, experiential learning. This also includes a rich array of outdoor environments that range from open lawns to exploratory spaces to areas that deliberately incorporate opportunities for Hawaiian studies, outdoor education and sustainability education.

Through a methodology for innovation called design thinking, students navigate open-ended challenges and come up with creative solutions to global problems. The process sharpens students’ intellectual and social skills as they work together on hands-on projects that make a difference in the world. Spaces like design studios, or makeries, and the future K – 12 Learning Commons provide students with resources (technological, creative and human) that will help them to transform their questions into work that addresses these real problems and audiences.

The campus covers 76 acres at the edge of Manoa Valley in Honolulu, and includes over 50 educational and administrative buildings featuring:

  • Distinct areas for K – 1, 2 – 5, 6 – 8 and 9 – 12 learners, as well as K – 12 multi-use facilities.
  • Outdoor learning and play spaces, featuring traditional and hydroponic gardens, native Hawaiian foliage, an apiary, ‘auwai (bioswales), Rocky Hill and the Lily Pond – teaming with aquatic life and nourished by Ka Punahou.
  • Visual and performing arts spaces including a 640-seat theatre with orchestra pit, a three-studio dance pavilion, a glassblowing and ceramics center, a music hall with private studios and recital hall, and an art gallery.
  • Athletics and PE facilities including three multi-purpose fields, two gymnasiums and several PE studios, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, eight tennis courts, six racquetball courts, and a weight room.

Parking and Visitors

Drivers bringing students to Punahou should become familiar with traffic rules of the School. Signs and directional arrows indicate flow of traffic through the campus. Pickup or dropoff of passengers should be clear of through lanes with attention to the safety of all involved. Unloading should be prompt, and using indicators facilitates re-entry into traffic flow.

All numbered parking stalls and areas are for assigned use only. At no time should students park on campus unless authorized. Visitors (including parents) should park in the visitor lot across from the Sullivan Administration Building unless otherwise directed by Punahou Security. Fines, disciplinary or towing actions will be assessed against those who do not adhere to these rules.

For special event parking, contact Punahou Security.

Prospective Families

Small group guided tours are offered to applicant families during the admission process only.

Foreign Educators

Requests for tours from foreign educators must be submitted in writing on official stationery from the visiting school to Wo International Center.


Media representatives interested in tours or general information should contact:

Robert Gelber ’92
Director of Communications

Interactive Campus Map

Experience Punahou's interactive mobile-friendly campus map, with special features including:

  • zoom and drag browsing
  • location and category toggles
  • keyword search
  • walking directions and geolocation (mobile)
  • printable PDFs
  • links to custom views

View Map

Support the Project

Find out more about the grades 2 – 5 community and K – 12 Learning Commons.

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