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The Fire 4: Rebuilding Begins

JULY 2003


MENU: Suriname Fire and Rebuilding Report

Listing of all Photo Links

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1. The Fire: Before and After March 2003 

2. Cleanup and Rebuilding April-May 2003 

3. New School Year Preps June-July 2003 

4. Rebuilding Begins
July-August 2003 

5. The Walls Go Up September-November 2003 

 6. First Floor Shell November-December 2003 

7. Interior Work First Floor January-April 2004 

8. School Construction
January-April 2004 

9. The Second Story
May-August 2004 

10. Fine-Tuning First Floor September-October 2004 

11. Second Story
September-January 2005 

12. Panorama Comparisons

January 2005

13. More School Scenes March 2005 

14. Final, Graduation
2005 April-August 2005 

15. The Finished Project September 2005 


Ground-Breaking Ceremonies

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Groundbreaking begins with prayer, Perry (L), Asgar Hamid (center left), Rudy Poettcker (center right), Perry's assistant (R).



The symbolic first shovel is put forth and the work begins.



A small tree that survived the fire is moved to another location. Asgar Hamid supervises this process.


Building Foundations Laid Out, Dug and Poured.



The foundations for the new building are laid out. Elementary school buildings in the background.



The digging of footers begins with the school and Rev. Poettcker (pictured in the foreground) providing much of the labor to save on costs. Asgar Hamid's house and high school building in the background.



The digging continues.


Foundations dug, final awaiting for a series of dry days in order to tie the steel and pour the cement. To the right in the picture is the construction trailer/container, that was loaned by the contractor for the school administration to use during the building process.



AUGUST, 2003


In the pictures below, a base floor is laid for the foundations upon which steel will then be set and tied. To save money, this was done manually with a cement truck dumping into a cue of wheelbarrows.



Rev. Asgar Hamid (foreground) is not only the pastor of the church and administrator of the school but, in this particular case, is directing the foundation floor pouring with the assistance of Harry Lewis (above Rev. Hamid, a volunteer from the U.S.), a local volunteer from the school (to the right), and the workers from the construction company in the background.


With the steel now having been formed on top of the foundation workfloor, all is ready for pouring of the foundations.

Suriname has come a long way in construction practices since the first buildings were built for the school. Now a cement pump truck is used to pump cement from a bin into which it is poured by the cement truck and then up through the boom to the exact location for the foundations. In the old days we mixed cement manually, and wheelbarrowed it to the place it was needed.

Workers aim the cement into the foundations.


Pouring The Ground-Level Floor

Throughout the building process, not unlike in North America, we are subject to spot and unannounced inspections. This is the primary inspection team, popping up almost daily to be sure the work is done correctly. Pictured here are Mrs. Sharilyn Poettcker (back), wife of Rev. Poettcker, and Miss Fareza Kahn, a teacher at the school from the neighboring country of Guyana, who lives with the Poettckers.


After the foundations are poured, preparation begins for pouring the main floor. Heavy plastic sheeting must be placed first on the ground to prevent ground-water seepage into the cement floor.



After the plastic is secured, heavy steel is laid across the floor of the entire building to hold everything together. This is increasingly important given the fact that the second story of the building will also be made of cement block construction and must have a solid structure below. Pipes in center are for sewer and water lines.


The steel is then tied to the foundations and crisscrossed with additional steel in a woven fashion.


Given the soft soil in Suriname, and especially our proximity to a busy road with trucktraffic, it is important that this floor be very solid to avoid cracking and soil shifting. Consequently, the whole structure is secured through this strongly steel structure to avoid damage from vibration from the neighboring road. With the old building, it is very common to feel the house shake from any big trucks that pass by on the road, especially heavy army vehicles (Panzer wagons, street tanks). A wood structure is a little more forgiving to such vibration than is a cement structure. But a wood structure is a much greater fire hazard than a cement structure.



The final preparations for pouring the floor amidst the play of children in school.






> The pouring beginneth, with a better cement pump capable of pouring at a faster rate.

Meanwhile, back at school.

While all this construction is going on, school continues on as usual. Note the construction trailer that serves as our temporary administrative offices. Pray for our staff with the turmoil of conducting school and overseeing construction.



In the construction trailer is a salvaged room air-conditioner from the old school, carrying on administering its gifts.

To continue, click here to go to the next stage of the building process. While you are waiting for the new page, please pray for God to provide the finances needed to complete the rebuilding process.


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