Princess Ruth Ke’elikōlani Middle School
On September 17, 2021, Central Middle School (Honolulu) was renamed back to its original moniker, Princess Ruth Ke’elikōlani Middle School in honor of Princess Ke’elikōlani. The effort to change the name began in 2019, and the change was approved by the Hawai’i Board of Education.
Both Ke’elikōlani Middle School and Honolulu High School (currently McKinley High School) started as the “Fort Street English Day School,” which was founded in 1865 at a church on Fort Street in Honolulu. In November 1869, Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani offered to house the Fort Street English Day School at her royal palace, Keōua Hale.
The original palace was eventually torn down, because of termite damage. A new building was constructed on the same Keōua Hale grounds where the current school occupies the now historic building. On a new building wing which opened in 1925 you can still see the name “Keelikolani School” engraved over the first story windows.
An attempt to abolish Hawaiian history, Ke’elikōlani Middle School’s name was changed to Central Junior High School in 1928 with an excuse that it was too hard for foreigners to pronounce.