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Haiti’s Ecole Lakay project still looking for more funds

0 48 Projects

by Russell Hixson

Canadian Construction Association (CCA) chair Chris McNally expressed concern over the association’s rebuild of a school in Haiti while giving an update to members during the spring board meeting last month in St. John’s, N.L.
Haiti’s Ecole Lakay project still looking for more funds

"This is becoming a bit of a problem," said McNally to members. "Funds are coming in slow."

According to the project's website, US$850,000 is still needed.

Despite these challenges, the Ecole Lakay project continues to move forward, the CCA states.

The management team has weekly conference calls regarding its ongoing efforts.

Former British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) president Manley McLachlan is serving as team lead regarding fundraising and is working out details with organizations who are interested in providing both material and labour to the project.

This includes working with a major electrical contractor who is co-ordinating both material and labour contributions to the project.

The project's task force is also in discussion with a cladding material manufacturer to complete the interior and exterior wall cladding. In addition, Haiti project team leader Serge Massicotte is organizing a trip to Haiti to get the work on the roof underway.

Currently the steel is completed, the concrete floors have been poured and work on installing the roof if about to start.

The CCA has been involved with the rebuild of Ecole Lakay for more than seven years, after the original school was destroyed during a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010. It caused catastrophic damage to the country's infrastructure and buildings and left 300,000 people dead, a video describing the event previously stated.

When the earthquake struck Ecole Lakay, there were students inside the school after hours — 150 people lost their lives at Lakay and 22 are buried in a cemetery at the site.

After the earthquake, the CCA teamed up with L'association de la construction du Quebec and the BCCA and then partnered with Builders Without Borders (BWB) and The Rinaldi Foundation to rebuild the school.

Fundraising efforts along the way have raised nearly $1.5 million in funds and in-kind material donations, but the entire project is estimated to cost $2.5 million, the video noted. Massicotte previously stated the money has been largely spent on actual construction costs but also on travel for those managing and working on the project who are flying in from Canada.

The project has seen its share of challenges with political unrest hampering reconstruction efforts, logistical concerns and escalating costs.

Once complete, the new school will span 2,100 square metres and be able to accommodate 200 students.
— With files from Lindsey Cole and Vince Versace

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