IfA Hilo Facility
The Hilo base facility of the Institute for Astronomy in the University Park supports the Institute's telescope operations on Mauna Kea and provides expansion space for its technology and instrumentation development, teaching, and outreach programs.
The $11 million 35,000 square-foot split-level building was designed by Oda/McCarty Architects, Ltd., of Hilo and was built by Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company. The building, at the University of Hawaii Hilo Research and Technology Park, was dedicated on February 23, 2001.
The IfA Hilo Facility is equipped with shops and laboratories for the development and maintenance of scientific instruments and telescopes, library, auditorium and remote telescope operation rooms. The office space accommodates astronomers, engineers, technicians, administrative and management staff, students and academic visitors. High-bandwith fiber-optics data and video links connect the Hilo building to IfA facilities on Oahu and Maui, telescopes on Mauna Kea, and to other astronomical institutes around the world.
The building is designed to accommodate about 70 employees. It is expected that this major decentralization and expansion of the Institute's activities will take several years. In addition to accommodating IfA personnel and programs, the new facility also provides space for the Hilo operations of the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii, for UH Hilo astronomers, and for other UH Hilo programs. This new facility also promotes much closer collaboration between the astronomy programs of the Institute and those at UH Hilo, in particular, the University's first Bachelor of Science in Astronomy program, now offered by UH Hilo.
The Institute for Astronomy joins the five astronomy facilities already located in the UH Hilo Research & Technology Park - the Joint Astronomy Centre, the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, the Gemini 8-Meter Telescopes, the Subaru Telescope and the Submillimeter Array. These six facilities employ approximately 270 people and serve the astronomy communities in nine countries - the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, the Netherlands, Taiwan and Japan. The Institute will also be nearer to the facilities which are based in Waimea: the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the W. M. Keck Observatory and the Very Long Baseline Array.