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Community, Culture and Connection

Presenting our new

Arrillaga Student Center

‘Iolani School is excited to share images of a stunning new addition planned for our campus. With completion estimated for the winter of 2025, the new Arrillaga Student Center will transform the heart of our campus as an engaging and inviting new gathering space for the entire school community. Here students, parents, faculty/staff, alumni, friends and visitors will come together to learn, dine, collaborate and celebrate, while developing bonds that will last a lifetime. The design beautifully articulates our culture, values and respect for our history, while providing the expanded spaces needed for learning and the social-emotional health of our campus.

Mahalo to our lead donors

‘Iolani School is very grateful to Justine Stamen Arrillaga & John Arrillaga for making possible this very generous lead gift of $10 million for this project. Previous donations from the Arrillagas have also helped 'Iolani to create a free swimming lesson program for students from Pālolo Valley as a part of our 'Iolani School KA'I Programs and other school and athletic initiatives on campus.

“We are tremendously grateful to the Arrillaga family and their partnership with us in this important initiative. Community and connection are at the heart of the ‘Iolani experience and the Arrillaga Student Center will further create and perpetuate these lifelong bonds.”DR. TIMOTHY R. COTTRELL HEAD OF SCHOOL

Floor plans

Each of the three floors offer exciting additions to our campus. Click the link below to see detailed floor plans and all of the rooms and spaces on each level.

See all the floor plans

Arrillaga Student Center design features

  • Large indoor, two-story dining and social gathering space
  • Fully equipped commercial kitchen and food storage
  • Wellness Center
  • Campus Store
  • Faculty & Staff Lounge
  • New 6th Grade Community – eight new classrooms and outdoor learning space
  • Eight new Upper School classrooms
  • Entry courtyard connecting to a newly designed chapel garden
  • Expansive covered and open-air outdoor eating and gathering spaces
  • Rooftop event and gathering spaces with stunning, unobstructed views of Diamond Head and Waikiki skyline
  • Residential Life space for students to relax and interact
  • Additional office and storage spaces
  • Large roof space for photovoltaic panels to power the center

A vibrant expression of community and student life

As you approach, the ground floor is an open, inviting space for dining, recreation, socializing and gatherings of all kinds. The new dining hall is large enough to accommodate all school events enabling Lower and Upper School students to gather with faculty and staff for special programs. Also on this level is a new Wellness Center and Campus Store.


The artistic design of the roof is meant to represent an ‘Io Hawk wing and is also symbolic of the outline of a King's cape. Both references honor our past as a school established by King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma. The large size and shape of the roof also allow extensive space for photovoltaic panels to power the center and enables us to be responsible stewards of our environment.

A Building for the Future

‘Iolani School will now have a spectacular new community just for our 6th-grade students, including eight new classrooms and a courtyard. As they grow and transition to becoming Upper School students, this new community, attached to the Arrillaga Student Center, but with its own distinctive entry and classrooms, will further our ability to give each student the individualized attention and support needed at this important time in their academic lives.

EMBRACing the Heart of our Campus

The view from the second floor (mauka side) creates a sight line directly to St. Alban's Chapel, which continues to be the spiritual and physical center of the ‘Iolani School campus. From this vantage point as you look beyond the chapel you can also see through to our Residence Hall. The visual connection of these three important buildings on campus truly honors our commitment to all aspects of community at ‘Iolani School.

Event Spaces Showcasing The Beauty Around Us

The location allows for some of the most beautiful and unobstructed views of Diamond Head and the Waikiki skyline. The design includes large open-air spaces on the third floor that will be used for school performances, meetings, events and other purposes, with the backdrop of the stunning beauty of Hawai‘i surrounding us.

Honoring our Chapel, Culture and Values

As you arrive from both Lower School and Upper School, the entry respects the importance of St. Alban's Chapel and embraces a new Chapel Courtyard. This area will be used for receptions and other school gatherings. It also showcases a grand staircase that goes to the second and third floors.

Anchor Piece to the Campus Experience

The design of the center provides three distinct and inviting entryways, from Upper School, the St. Alban's Chapel Courtyard and Lower School. The ability to access the building from a number of different points helps to welcome visitors from all parts of campus.

Expanded Spaces Foster Exceptional Experiences

The large, new dining room with high ceilings maximizes seating capacity and functionality. This will now provide a space where Lower and Upper School students can come together. It allows for more food delivery options for students so they can spend more time socializing and less time in lines. This space can be left open or closed. It will also be used for parent, alumni and community meetings.

Want to know more?

If you would like to learn more about ways you can become involved and the exciting naming opportunities for this project, contact the ‘Iolani School Advancement Office at (808) 943-2325 or

Construction timeline & student impact

The tentative timeline for construction includes:

  • Now - Spring 2024 -- pre-construction tasks, finalization of building design, general contractor selection and permitting
  • Summer 2024 -- demolition of current Student Center and begin construction of new Arrillaga Student Center (based on permitting approvals)
  • Winter 2025 -- targeted completion of project

** Note: Alternative plans are in place to continue to provide food service to students throughout this process.

“What immediately sets the Arrillaga Student Center apart, as seen from any angle, is that it’s not just another building to fulfill a needed function, but a physical embodiment of ‘Iolani School’s spirit and energy. It moves, it stirs emotion, it invites everyone in. It’s not a generic, but rather, a very site-specific extension of the spiritual and social center of the school. It has a well-formed relationship with the environment, giving users the choice to not just be inside or outside, but a range of contexts, all while being visually connected to the campus and the Honolulu setting. That’s what sets it apart and will make it a landmark building in Honolulu!”David HerjeczKi Principal, Gensler Architects

About the architects

The new Arrillaga Student Center is being designed by WCIT ARCHITECTURE and GENSLER, award-winning architecture firms from Hawai‘i and the mainland.

Read more about the architects