Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pushing Ahead

Over one year ago, the school construction project was originally conceived as two buildings - one with three rooms and one with two. The budget for the construction was $120,000 with nothing allocated to the desired solar electrical system and only Nat and I traveling to Uganda. Raising that much in one year was a lofty goal, particularly in the middle of a global recession. By mid summer we decided to scale back the project and only build the two-room building with the solar electrical system (which, by that point, carried a $7,000 budget of its own). By the time we came to Uganda in October over $50,000 had been raised. We were content with the prospects of constructing one solid building.

But this week we were at decision time again. As we mentioned in previous emails, the construction is going quickly and has been coming in significantly under budget (thanks largely the hard work of the Kampala team who were lead by the recently departed Russ and Charles). Also, the need for classroom space has increased since the collapsed of the temporary structure. Over the last couple weeks, with the possibility of starting the second building in our minds, we increased our building material orders to levels that would meet the needs of the second building (saving on transport costs). Now, for the second building, we have most of the roofing and lumber on site. The doors and windows are ordered. We (the royal one) have also made 8,000 of the 11,000 bricks required for the job. We are going for it.

If all goes according to plan, we will complete both originally planned buildings, plus an extra room for the solar equipment and a 1,200W solar electric system. It took over $30,000 to build the first structure (excluding solar), partly because we had to invest in tools and training for the construction and camp setup for the 20 Canadian volunteers, but we are here now. We expect the next building to cost under $20,000. We expect to have a roughly $9,000 budget shortfall - which we will have to “beg, borrow or steal”. We feel like we have come so far and with a little push we can accomplish what we had imagined one year ago.


So, if anyone is feeling rich or is still trying to find a last minute Christmas gift, we would be happy to accept any donations. We promise not to ask for any more donations…. this year :)

Tomorrow we are setting off to Kabale then to Lake Bunyoni for Christmas. We will be back in Kampala by the 28th to meet Sam, Jane and Dave. We will miss all our friends and family. We wish you all the best of the season.

Steve works on the roof

Brick making and cement mixing area

Trench for the second building

Bricks for the second building

Concrete foundation is poured

Footings are poured for the veranda of the first building

Nat works on the site plan

Simon and Colleen varnish the mahogany posts ($15 each!) for the veranda

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