See renderings for a new complex of buildings at the heart of BYU–Hawaii’s campus

Five new buildings at the center of BYU–Hawaii’s campus will include a new welcome center, courtyard, offices and auditorium

BYU–Hawaii released renderings for a new complex of buildings to be constructed at the center of campus.

The renderings posted on the university’s newsroom Aug. 28 show plans for five new buildings where the David O. McKay Building and Aloha Center currently stand.

The BYU–Hawaii campus is roughly 35 miles north of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The 100-acre campus accommodates some 3,200 students from more than 70 countries and cultures throughout Asia, the Pacific Rim and the U.S. mainland.

Established in 1954, the university has undergone several renovations, updates and additions in recent years. Last year, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the new Science Building.

A rendering of the future welcome center at dusk at BYU–Hawaii’s campus in Laie, Hawaii.
A rendering of the future welcome center at dusk on BYU–Hawaii’s campus in Laie, Hawaii. | BYU–Hawaii
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This most recent investment will renew the university’s buildings and infrastructure for the next 50 years, the news release states.

Throughout the design process, the BYU–Hawaii President’s Council has held meetings and focus groups with students, faculty and the community. “We are grateful for the input and feedback we’ve received thus far,” said Kevin Schlag, BYU–Hawaii operations vice president. “This is a monumental project to remake a large portion of the BYU–Hawaii campus while maintaining the spirit and character of this special and historical place so dear to our hearts.”

The renderings include a new welcome center with the school’s iconic flag circle. The welcome center will hold historical, cultural and religious displays, including portions of the David O. McKay mosaic that is displayed as a significant feature of the current building, the news release explains. 

A July 3 news release states that the center will be focused on Jesus Christ and tell the story of how faith in Christ and a desire to live His teachings are the foundation of the Laie community. “It will narrate the story of this community’s origins, the Laie Hawaii Temple, the university’s establishment, the Polynesian Cultural Center and the ongoing demonstration of intercultural peace fostered by this community.”

A rendering shows the view of the south entry of one of the buildings that will be part of the McKay Complex.
A rendering shows the view of the south entry of one of the buildings that will be part of the McKay Complex on the center of BYU–Hawaii campus in Laie, Hawaii. | BYU–Hawaii

Another rendering shows a courtyard and three-story building behind the welcome center. This structure will house student resources and dining options as well as faculty and executive offices and student study and conference spaces.

The circular, palm-tree-lined courtyard will be designed at the piko (Hawaiian for “navel”) of campus. “In the Hawaiian culture, the piko is representative of one’s connection to their parents and covers one’s na’au, or core, which holds wisdom and knowledge,” the news release explains.

Another rendering shows the main entrance of a building that will house an auditorium and performance space.

Behind the new welcome center will be a central courtyard and an additional three-story building. The circular courtyard will be designed to be the center, or piko (navel), of the campus. | BYU–Hawaii

Plans are not finalized, but the university anticipates construction to begin in the first half of 2025. In the meantime, the President’s Council is inviting students, faculty, alumni and the community to provide input or ideas for architectural motifs that tell the BYU–Hawaii story. They are also encouraged to send in personal stories and memories for the new welcome center. 

Anyone interested in providing feedback can submit on the McKay Complex webpage.

A rendering shows a view of a walkway among McKay Complex buildings looking toward the center courtyard with the welcome center on the right. | BYU–Hawaii
A rendering shows the front view of the new welcome center from the middle of the new flag circle.
A rendering shows the front view of the new welcome center from the middle of the new flag circle on BYU–Hawaii’s campus in Laie, Hawaii. The welcome center features a large A-frame in the central entryway with office spaces on either side. | BYU–Hawaii
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