Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood

Serving 300 students in grades K – 1, this state-of-the-art facility is comprised of six buildings, integrated with several outdoor learning and play spaces.
The Neighborhood features:
  • 12 classrooms, each with a 350 square-foot lanai
  • Large main gathering hall for a range of multi-class activities
  • Outdoor amphitheater
  • P. E. Pavilion and outdoor learning and play areas
  • Interactive sustainability features
  • Creative Learning Center with spaces for art and music, as well as housing administration, offices and a health room – Wilcox Hall


Designed to meet LEED Platinum specifications, the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood is a model of sustainability not only for facility design, but also for integration of that design into both learning and play.

A signature green design component, the "bioswale" allows for natural rain and storm water drainage, and acts as a teaching tool for kids to see the path of rainwater and its vital role in the ecosystem. A windmill pumps water up so students can release water back down into the bioswale.

Rooftop cisterns water gardens and water efficient landscaping reduces water used for irrigation by 50%. Water-saving fixtures also reduce consumption.

In addition to natural light, photovoltaic cells reduce electricity consumption (providing 60% of the total demand) and provide web-based usage data for classroom learning. Occupancy and daylight sensors automatically dim lights and shut off air conditioning, for energy efficiency. Buildings are designed to provide a comfortable thermal environment with natural ventilation, through building orientation and operable windows.

Sustainable Features

  • Outdoor creative learning center with Hawaiian educational gardens and indigenous plantings.
  • Recycling center.
  • Community room/dining hall - healthy food choices, waste management.
  • Bioswale for outdoor discovery and to manage water runoff and drainage.
  • Photovoltaic panels with Web-based data showing usage, PV system to provide approximately 60 percent of the total energy demand.
  • Agriculture plantings of bananas, papaya, sweet potato, etc.
  • Garden plots to facilitate the Garden to Market curriculum.
  • Classrooms designed to provide a comfortable thermal environment and introduce natural daylight to minimize the need for artificial lighting.
  • Cisterns that will reduce water usage by 30 to 40 percent in conjunction with water-saving fixtures.
  • Lo‘i for taro and other Hawaiian plants.
  • Windmill to demonstrate the power of the wind to produce energy and pump water through the bioswale.
  • Energy-efficient lighting and air-conditioning system with occupancy and daylight sensors.
Building Dashboard
Through the K – 1 Building Dashboard, students are able to track the neighborhood's energy consumption and the impact of sustainable energy sources.


Completed in the summer of 2010, the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood included the construction of five new buildings and the renovation of Wilcox Hall. Requiring the removal of the Spalding Tennis Courts to break ground in 2009, the project made full use of the upper corner of campus at the foot of Rocky Hill.

The Neighborhood is named for Pierre '84 Omidyar and his wife Pam, who contributed generously to the project in the form of a $6 million challenge grant, targeting LEED Platinum certification.

Pierre '84 and Pam Omidyar
Punahou alumnus and trustee since 2007, Pierre Omidyar is perhaps best known for founding the internet auction site eBay in 1995. In 1998, he and wife Pam, an 'Iolani School alumna, co-founded the Omidyar Foundation to support nonprofits. Broadening their philanthropic scope, Omidyar Network was formed in 2004, to make for-profit company investments as well as nonprofit organization grants.

Pierre and Pam also co-founded the Ulupono Initiative, a Hawaii-focused social investment organization that makes grants and investments to improve the quality of life for island residents through more renewable energy, more locally produced food, and reduced waste.

Before starting eBay, Pierre co-founded Ink Development Corp., later renamed eShop and acquired by Microsoft. Upon receiving his BS in computer science from Tufts, Pierre worked as a consumer software engineer at Claris, a subsidiary of Apple Computer. Today, Pierre serves as a trustee of Tufts University, Punahou School, and Santa Fe Institute, a commissioner of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, and as chairman of eBay.