The Canadian Construction Association together with its partners the British Columbia Construction Association, Builders without Borders and the Association de la construction du Québec are rebuilding École Lakay, a Port-au-Prince, Haiti, based trade school damaged by the January 2010 earthquake.
Besides having an opportunity to learn a trade, students receive a hot meal three times a day, can take a bath, have clean clothes supplied and a safe place to sleep. While the original school’s capacity was only 80 students, the new school will span 2,100 m2 and be able to accommodate 200 students.
This school will train the tradespeople who will be there to rebuild in the aftermath of future earthquakes and storms.
The École Lakay project is nearing completion but WE NEED YOUR HELP to finish the job.
The project still needs some $850,000 USD.
YOUR CONTRIBUTION IS CRITICAL.
The skills the vulnerable students learn at the school will lead to employment and sustainable income for their families.
- January 2017
The steel erection was completed with a final push by the B.C. ironworkers and the Haitian workers trained by them who completed the final steel decking of the roof. The second-floor concrete pour was done in December and minor works continue on the structure. The next phase is constructing the roof. Team leader Serge Massicotte is travelling to Haiti at the end of January to work out the details. After the roof, the project can proceed with closing in the building and installing mechanical and electrical components.
New fundraising efforts were started in the fall because some $800,000 US is needed to finish the project. Manley McLachlan who represents the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) has taken a leading role in fundraising and promoting the project. “I believe that we build a legacy in all the things that we do throughout our careers. That legacy is built on our efforts to improve those things which we have the power to improve,” said Manley. “I am also honoured to assist the Canadian construction industry players in completing good works, one of the things that we do best. “
- October 2016
Daily Commercial news article (October 2016): Haiti’s Ecole Lakay spared from Hurricane Matthew
- March 2016
Daily Commercial News article (March 2016): Iron resolve moves Haiti trades school rebuild forward
- May 2015
- January 2015
2014 Saw Several Milestones in Ecole Lakay Reconstruction Project
This past year included several significant milestones for the Ecole Lakay Reconstruction Project. To date, there has been increased progress and positive momentum toward the successful completion of the two-storey trade school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
In early 2014, with reinforcing steel on-site, the majority of the work was dedicated to the on-site preparation for the reconstruction project. As students took their classes in nearby, temporary facilities, the site for the new building was being prepared for construction. This included surveying, trenching and grading, and the drilling of helical piles to accommodate the steel structure.
While there were some early delays due to the placement of the helical piles, the construction team would eventually survey the site once again, and replace the appropriate piles to ensure the final project meets design specifications and seismological requirements laid out in the design.
CCA Chair Serge Massicotte made several trips to Port-au-Prince throughout the year to meet with local contractors and suppliers, and to oversee the various steps in the reconstruction project. This oversight, including local oversight from a project management firm in Haiti, has been integral to ensuring the project is completed to the standards initially identified at the outset of the project.
Steel Arrives at the Project Site
An additional project milestone was achieved when the donated steel from the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction arrived in Port-au-Prince following its transportation from Quebec. In early February, the port in Port-au-Prince—which is very close to the Ecole Lakay site—received the steel. During this time, workers on site prepared for its arrival, creating laydown areas for the steel once it arrived. Following this work, and upon clearing customs, the steel was moved to the project site in preparation for steel erection.
Positive Momentum on Reconstruction Project
While there have been some setbacks in the Ecole Lakay reconstruction project, the project has seen positive momentum and several important milestones toward the end of 2014. The initial contractor hired to undertake the foundation work has since been replaced, and concrete foundations and reinforcing steel was put in place toward the end of 2014. After some final oversight and quality review, the site will be prepared for steel erection early in 2015.
It is anticipated that workers from Canada will be able to visit the site early next year to put the steel structure in place, which will make the next major milestone for the project.
For donors to the Ecole Lakay Reconstruction Project, the money raised has helped ensure the project can be monitored closely, that the quality of the project is being maintained, and that soon, more than 200 trades students in Port-au-Prince will have access to an excellent facility to learn the skills that can help rebuild their country. In early 2015, an additional trip is planned to gather more footage of the Ecole Lakay Reconstruction to showcase the positive progress that has been made to date.
Watch a video (March 2014)
Journal of Commerce article (June): Milestone reached in rebuild of Haiti trades school
Daily Commercial News article (November): CCA keeps progressing in Haitian trades school rebuild
- December 2013
Challenges in the Pre-construction Phase
As we embarked on the pre-construction phase, the news came that the Rinaldi Foundation had adopted a new functional plan that called for a new school twice the size of the existing one. New designs were done but the costs had more than doubled. More funding was secured through private pledges and the ACQ also raised significant funds at its AGM. Combined with the contribution made by the steel industry – who donated the reinforcing and structural steel as well as the connectors for seismic purposes – we were able to meet the challenge.
The project management team soon realized that the subsoil couldn’t support the structure and a canal needed to be relocated. The additional costs related to site preparation remain an issue.
The use of helical piles was suggested to solve the problem related to the site conditions. All details with the Rinaldi Foundation were concluded (elevation, foundation, roof, walls, ventilation, water tank, sceptic tank, windows, entrance, etc.). However, later the Rinaldi Foundation rejected the chosen contractor.
December 2013 Update
It was agreed, to avoid further delays, that CCA would piece-meal the project and hire contractors under its own supervision as well as that of local firms (geotechnical, structural and architectural consulting firms).
- The site preparation (grading, new canal, infill, piles) was completed in November.
- The foundation work is scheduled to begin in December.
- The structural steel has been shipped and should clear customs early in January.
- A Canadian team will erect the steel and work should begin in March on the building envelope.
More donations are expected for the interior systems, the plumbing and the electrical component of the project. Haitians, including the students, will be expected to contribute wherever practical, e.g. partitions, painting, door frames, etc. Stay tuned for the ribbon cutting date. We are producing videos, photographs, interviews and anecdotes to commemorate this challenging but satisfying project. Once completed, the new school will make us all proud of how the generosity of our donors, the adherence to the project objectives/principles and the devotion and tenacity of the project leaders Paul Charette and Serge Massicotte assisted by the project management team made it all happen.
- November 2012
Preparing for Contract Signing
The project management team for the École Lakay project, led by Paul Charette, CCA Past Chair and Chairman of the Board of Bird Construction, continues to meet on a regular basis to finalize various details relating to the project. They will be travelling to Haiti in early December to meet with the Rinaldi Foundation, the preferred contractor for the project, and the site supervisor to formalize the scope of work and the contract price and to prepare the contract documents for signature
The school project doubled in size from its initial design, to better meet the needs of the many young people who attend the school. Members of the Canadian Institute for Steel Construction have reconfirmed their donations-in-kind of the structural and reinforcing steel, and an additional boost to the project occurred during a recent event by the Association de la construction du Quebec, where additional pledges were made by individual members and matched by the association.
- September 2011
The project management team for the École Lakay project has been meeting diligently the past two months via conference call and face-to-face meetings wherever possible.
Update on School Capacity and Size
Through their communications with the school owners and management – the Rinaldi Foundation and the Salesian Order/ Mission – it has been determined that following a needs assessment (functional plan), the school now must service a population of some 150 students. Previously, the school held only 80 students.
A new design calls for a 2,200 square metre complex with concrete clock on the first floor and a steel frame on the second. The structure consists of an L-shaped building (i.e. building A) and a smaller square building joined via a roof that fits inside the L-shape (i.e. building B).
Additional Fundraising Underway
As one can imagine, the increased size of the project has raised the cost to approximately $1.3 million. Thanks to continuing donations, an additional $130,000 dollars has already been pledged, and another $100,000 is expected. Further fundraising efforts are underway in order to ensure that the school is built to the satisfaction of the Canadian construction industry.
Next Mission in Mid-September
Although the scope of the project has increased, the project management team is confident in its design, and its functional plan. The geo-tech report has been completed and reviewed, and during the upcoming mission to Haiti, the task force will meet with possible contractors and begin the selection process of site supervisors.
Further updates and pictures will be available following the upcoming mission, which is taking place the week of September 18, 2011.
Overwhelming Generosity Helps Exceed Fundraising Goal to Rebuild a Trade School in Haiti (April 2011)
On January 12, 2010, a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti. Centered less than 25 kilometers from its capital, Port-au-Prince, it left as many as 250,000 people dead and more than 300,000 injured. The earthquake damaged more than 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings.
École Lakay, a trade school located near Port-au-Prince, was seriously damaged. The École Lakay Project saw Canadian Construction Association (CCA) work together with the Association de la construction du Québec, British Columbia Construction Association, Builders without Borders, as well as The Rinaldi Foundation in Haiti to raise funds to rebuild the school whose graduates, through learning construction trades, will be in prime position to help rebuild their home country.
École Lakay Project Moves to the Next Phase
The original fundraising goal of $500,000 to rebuild École Lakay was reached during CCA’s Annual Conference in Hawaii. In a touching demonstration of generosity over $300,000 was raised during the Closing Gala, bringing the total funds raised by CCA and its École Lakay Project partners to over $600,000. CCA’s Chair Dee Miller expressed her appreciation for the donations that came in from all over Canada. “Our members’ generosity is heart-warming,” she said. “Many of our members have held fundraisers and donated to this very worthy cause.”
The project is now moving on to the next phase. A project team is being assembled and is expected to travel to Haiti in mid-May. We will keep you updated on the École Lakay Project’s progress.
- To build a school with a clear Canadian component to it that is solid and will sustain other tremors or catastrophes.
- To build a training facility that will serve to give young Haitians hope in life as they become qualified and skilled trades people.
- To satisfy the donors’ expectations in that due diligence and duty of care is exercised throughout the project. The school needs to be safe/secure against burglary, theft and vandalism. Corruption needs to be mitigated and the flow of funds made secure.
- To train as many Haitians as possible throughout the project.
- Team Leader, Serge Massicotte, Massicotte Construction Ltd
- Consultant and Past Team Lead, Paul Charette, Bird Construction
- Special Advisor (legal), Yvan Houle, BLG
- Special Advisor (design – seismic considerations), Andrew Chad, Fast + Epp, Structural engineers
- Association de la construction du Québec, represented by Pierre Hamel
- British Columbia Construction Association, represented by Manley McLachlan
- Canadian Construction Association
- Builders without Borders, represented by Neil Griggs & Brian Boone