In early 2019, Kamehameha Schools began construction of a US$10.9 million Kalanihoʻokaha Cope Community Learning Center in Nānākuli on the island of O’ahu, Hawaii. The 6,800 square-foot Cope Center opened in summer 2020 and includes a large multipurpose space that can be opened up to the outdoors. The outdoor façade features copper sculptures of two life-size humpback whales. Prometheus Construction of Kapolei, Hawaii, donated the time taken to weld and lift the copper sections together and put in place on the new community centre. Once welded together on site, the largest copper whale measures 45 feet (13.7 metres) long and weighs 3,000 pounds (1.36 tonnes).
“The lifting and placing of the whales on the wall of the Cope Center was a tricky operation because the landscaping and sidewalks were already installed, requiring the Link-Belt 75RT to lift from over an 80 foot [24.4 metre] radius,” said Cliff Tillotson, vice president, Prometheus Construction.
Local Link-Belt crane distributor, Doc Bailey Cranes & Equipment, offered the new 75 ton 75|RT rough terrain crane for the lift.
“This symbolic art project called Kohola Ola [Whales for Peace] is the vision and inspiration of a local copper artist named Muthukumaru Sooriya. Hundreds of schoolchildren on the island of Oahu hand-pounded these exquisite whale sculptures into being with the unifying message of universal human goodwill,” added Tillotson.