École Lakay

Donate today for the École Lakay rebuilding project

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 $700,000.


The skills the vulnerable students learn at the school will lead to employment and sustainable income for their families.


Two Ways to Donate

First way to donate

Send a cheque to
Builders without Borders
c/o Canadian Construction Association
1900 – 275 Slater Street, Ottawa ON K1P 5H9

Second way to donate

Donate online
at the Builders without Borders website

Third way to donate

Volunteer on site
or donate materials
(contact rborne@cca-acc.com for details)



  • March 12, 2018
  • February 13, 2018

    Canadian Construction Association donated a two-night stay for two at the Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland to be auctioned in support of the École Lakay rebuilding project.

  • October 30, 2017

    The management team has been diligently working behind the scenes garnering additional support for the project – both in materials and labour. Read more

  • September 15, 2017

    The site didn’t suffer damage due to hurricane Irma and the work is proceeding! See August 2017 photos of the roof.

  • June 27, 2017
  • June 2017

    École Lakay project team leader Serge Massicotte and Builders without Borders representative Brian Boone recently travelled to Haiti to sign the contract for the roofing. Materials are on their way to Haiti and Serge will travel to be onsite when the work begins in the next
    few weeks. The new roof will include several self-driving wind turbines to extract hot air. Read more

  • May 2017
  • March 2017

    Jean Pouliot, president of Produits métalliques PMI and a CCA board member, gave a touching presentation on his involvement with the reconstruction project at the CCA conference in March. Watch video

  • 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. “


    Read the update that was published in CCA’s annual review magazine (PDF).

  • 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

    New Donations

    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.

    Read more

    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.

Project Objectives

  1. To build a school with a clear Canadian component to it that is solid and will sustain other tremors or catastrophes.
  2. To build a training facility that will serve to give young Haitians hope in life as they become qualified and skilled trades people.
  3. 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.
  4. To train as many Haitians as possible throughout the project.

Management Team

Donor Recognition (have given permission to publish name; updated on a monthly basis)

  • Individuals

    Colin Anderson
    Roman Babicki
    Wilson Beck
    Robin Borne
    Geoff Battimelli
    John Bockstael
    Pierre Boucher
    Chuck Brook
    Dwight Brown
    Gilbert Brulotte
    Hardy Bunn
    Ken Cameron
    Fabienne Chaber
    Morris Chynweth
    Robert Culbert
    Gavin Davidson
    Greg Dixon
    Roger Dootson
    Robert Eades
    David Ellis
    Louis Fontaine
    Brian Gardner
    Walentyna Karcz
    Eileen Keenan
    Carmel Lafontaine
    Bryan Leverick
    Manley McLachlan
    John McLernon
    Chris McNally
    Robert Merkley
    Margaret Munro
    Scott Munro
    Carl Nilsen
    Kirsi O’Connor
    David Ritchie
    Bob Robinson
    John Schubert
    Richard Siegenthaler
    Leslie Van Duzer
    Richard Van Exan

  • Companies

    Aluflex Inc.
    Ascenseurs Lumar
    Association de la Construction du Québec
    BC Construction Association
    Bing Thom Architects Foundation
    Bockstael Construction Limited
    Brook Pooni Associates Inc
    Calgary Construction Association
    Canadian Construction Association
    Cast Connex
    Charpentier Solidaire – Claude Mercier
    Construction Denis Rivard Inc.
    Construction Association of New Brunswick
    CANB – Moncton
    Da Architects & Partners
    Edmonton Construction Association
    Fredericton NorthWest Construction
    Gateway Construction & Engineering Ltd.
    Graham Construction
    ITC Construction – University Of Calgary
    Katom Ventures Inc.
    Lang Construction
    Les Constructions St-Laurent B.L. Inc.
    Les Excavations Payette Ltée
    Management Produits Métalliques PMI Inc.
    Maple Leaf Construction
    Masonry Industry Association of Atlantic
    Mechanical Contractors Association
    Mechanical Contractors Association of N.B.
    Michael Garrett Architect Ltd.
    Mini-Excavation M.T, Inc.
    Moisan Portes De Garage Expert Inc.
    Moncton Northeast Construction Association
    NB Roofing Contractors Association
    Nechako Northcoast Construction
    Parkwest Projects Ltd
    PCL Construction Management
    PME Inc.
    Project Management Services Inc.
    RG Integration
    Roger Dootson Charitable Foundation
    Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver
    Saint John Construction Information Centre
    SE Solutions, LLC – in thanks to Carlos de Oliveira (Cast Connex) for his SE University presentation
    Spino Plomberie Inc.
    Toitures Quatre-Saisons Inc
    Ventilation C.F. Inc.
    Western Surety
    Wilson M. Beck Insurance Services Inc.
    Zone Decor/au Coin Du Tapis