June 24: Groundbreaking for the Montrouis School, Haiti
Collège Mixte Le Bon Berger "Good Shepherd," in the coastal village of Montrouis, celebrated its official groundbreaking last Friday, June 24, following a week of construction training and beginning foundation work.
Gerry Reilly, an Architecture for Humanity volunteer, captured some of the sights and sounds of the ceremony, which spanned 30 minutes around midday. In Gerry's Flipvid below, Montrouis headmaster Wilson d'Or can be seen presenting the design concepts and sharing a few words from the threshold of his office (a preexisting buildng).
Mr. d'Or reflects on the significance of the project: "This new seismic- and hurricane-resistant school that Architecture for Humanity has provided for all Montrouisiens and Montrouisiennes will be like oxygen for our education system."
The procession then wound through campus to the construction site, where foundation trenches are already underway. Mr. D'Or lightheartedly cast out a ceremonial shovelful of soil to laughter and applause.
It's a great way to end the school year–Montrouis, like most schools around Haiti, begins a 3 month summer recess this month, during which time construction can proceed unhindered by adjacent classes, but also in cautious anticipation of rainy season storms. Come Septemer, however, the 400 Montrouis schoolchildren can expect to resume classes a new–yet somewhat familiar–environment.