École Elie Dubois

Related program: Haiti Rebuilding Center

Elie Dubois is an all girls secondary school a few blocks from the presidential palace. The campus supports a vocational program and several historic buildings to be restored. The school serves about 250 students. Seven nuns, including school director Soeur Josette, lived on campus prior to the earthquake and currently commute across Port-au-Prince.

The reconstruction of the new classroom blocks and the restoration of the historic buildings on the campus will be supported by Barefoot Foundation and Fondation CINA.

Site
Ecole Elie Dubois is located in central Port-au-Prince, Haiti with a main campus approximately 4,250 m2. The site is easily accessible by vehicle from Rue Paul VI, and the historic walking entrance is located on Rue du Centre. The main campus houses several historically significant buildings, two of which have been tagged yellow by the Department of Public Works, Transport & Communications (MTPTC) which necessitates repair before being put back into service.

Background
Established in 1913 by the Community of the Daughters of Mary, Ecole Elie Dubois began as an all girl vocational boarding school, located in downtown Port-au-Prince a few blocks from the National Palace. The curriculum consisted of basic grammar, science, French, embroidery, sewing, and crafts. In the 1920s teacher training courses were added and then further refined during the Education Reform in 1979. This new reform then offered two vocational training courses for women’s and decorative art as a professional and technical institute.

Prior to the January 12th earthquake, 25 to 30 new students were admitted every year for secondary
education, totaling approximately 214 students in both basic and professional curricula. Current tuition was 1,500 to 2,500 gourdes per year, and daily classes would run from 7 am-3pm with a break from noon-1pm early October to mid August.

Renovation
The historic campus should be fully renovated over time including building repair, upgrades to site water distribution and cistern, repair damaged paving and other site amenities including the gardens and grotto. Existing landscaping should be maintained wherever possible.

Renovated buildings and program should include:

Building 1
Cooking Studio
Laundry
2-10th grade classrooms
2-11th grade classrooms
Art Studio
Beauty lab

Building 2
Offices
Library
Computer Labs
Philo classroom
2 - 12th grade classrooms

Building 3
Teacher Lounge
Director’s Office
Records Storage

Building 4
Kitchen

Building 5
Garden Shed

Building 6
Latrines

New Construction
Construction to accommodate the transitional program should become permanent fixtures in the full campus master plan, and thus its design should be conscious of the future phases. As transitional spaces the classrooms will double as labs for sewing/knitting, decorating, and a computer lab. The Dormitories will house the seven Sisters, common spaces, multi-person bathroom, and a kitchenette. A new campus bathing area constructed by the
cistern will remain at that location for future use.

Program spaces needed:
10th grade classrooms, 42 students each (45 is considered a full class) - 2
11th grade classrooms, 52 students total - 2
12th grade classroom, 45 students total - 1
Philosophy classroom - 1
Sewing lab, 10 machines and desks - 1
Computer lab, 20 - 1
Cafeteria/ kitchen
Director’s office
Teachers’ offices
Dormitory, 7 occupants
Cistern and Bathing facility, Latrine
26kv generator

Sustainable Strategies
All aspects of the community should be sustainable in nature; strategies logical to this particular site and Haitian culture should be determined.

Possibilities may include, but are not limited to the following:

Site
·Respect existing construction and materials, repair and infill instead of demolishing and building back new
·Carefully study water drainage – divert all roof water to landscaping and or cisterns
·Minimize parking area
·Rebuild a consistent and beautiful campus edge

Water
·Capture rainwater for domestic use

Energy
·Design and orient buildings to maximize airflow and minimize solar gain
·Provide appropriate openings for natural light
·Phase in photovoltaic arrays

Materials
·Use locally resourced materials and labor (provide training for quality concrete and masonry construction)
·Observe existing materials, all new materials should harmonize with existing
·Utilize quality plumbing and electrical components
·Repairs to historic buildings should match material as closely as possible (i.e. lime plaster)

Culture
·Develop and provide environmental education and resources for learning

Next Steps
·Finalize scope of program
·Complete site Civil Survey and Geotechnical Report
·Secure project financing
·Complete planning and final design
·Construct transitional structures
·Begin phased construction to complete masterplan

View this project on the Open Architecture Network

Related Program