The Fire 5: The Walls Go Up
AND THEY BUILT THE WALLS:
After the foundation and floor was laid, steel pillars were set in place to help
share the load of the second story (block and cement), as well as provide
structure for the cement block walls.
Pillars are placed every 8 feet
throughout the structure
Steel was used to provide greater strength in the
structure. This building is located about 80 feet away from a main
road which has heavy truck traffic from time to time. Whenever a
fully loaded truck goes down the road, the old house would vibrate
slightly because of the sandy soil and the high water table.
are then placed on top of the pillars to spread the load of the
second story weight. For the present, the beams will not be covered
by a ceiling, saving ceiling costs. They will simply be painted.
to the installation of the beams, the drainage system for the water
run-off is being installed on the front side of the building.
In the back of the building, the septic tank for
the house and school is being built. Suriname does not have water
treatment plants, so the run-off from the septic goes into a canal
system which takes the water out to the river. For many years, this
drained into trenches on the school property, but those were later
enclosed and pipes installed to reroute it to the drainage ditches.
At long last, the actual walls begin with the
"laying of the first block" ceremony on September 15, 2003 (six
months and seven days after the fire). A cornerstone it is not, but
in Suriname, the first block is just about as significant. Rev.
Rudy Poettcker (bending over with trowel) and Rev. Asgar Hamid
(squatting looking at the camera) partake of the honors with a great
portion of the school body partially noticeable in the background.
Blocks, blocks and more blocks are laid
throughout the structure for the completion of the block walls. The
steel pillars are slotted to receive the end of each row of blocks
providing for a much more stable securing of the wall than with a
traditional cement pillar.
Walls along the back section overlook the
diagonal slab for the garage, over which a balcony for the
residential portions above will be situated.
This picture demonstrates the method of cement
mixing used in 1982 when we built the school building seen below
with the red roof behind the ready-mix cement. First you lay down
cement mixing bed several days before. After that is hard, you put
on it five wheelbarrow loads of river gravel, then put three loads
of river sand, and finally a number of bags of cement. This is then
dry mixed very well, backbreaking shovel-full by shovel-full and
shaped with high walls and a cleared center. That is the easy
part. Then water is added to the center and the walls are
systematically brought in for mixing until you have the right
consistency of wet cement (much heavier than when it was dry). From
there it is offloaded by shovel into the wheelbarrows and carted to
wherever it is needed.
With the progress of the situation in Suriname,
ready-mixed cement is generally cheaper and faster than in 1982, so
the ready-mix trucks keep the cement supplied for the large pouring
Block laying took all of September and part of October.
OCTOBER, 2003 October was primarily
focused on plastering and much of the electrical and plumbing work needed prior
to the final plastering of the walls.
are now looking down the main front hallway where the workers are
plastering the cement blocks walls. The plaster is mixed by hand
using white sand and cement. When mistakes were made, they would
tear the wall down and start again. A number of walls were
plastered more than once. Such things generally took place when the
foreman was not around.
To the left (not seen) is the entrance to the
chapel. To the right, before the first door is the entrance to the
school reception area. The first door on the right is the main
entrance to the school offices. The later doors are for back
entrances to the school offices. At the end of the hall is the
entrance to the school library and some librarian and teacher
Here we see a man repairing portions of the
plaster on one of the office walls.
The building, viewed from one end with the front
to the left with the walls up.
After the wall is complete, the next stage is to ready the
second floor (first floor ceiling). Heavy corrugated steel will be laid over
the beams into which cement will be poured. In order to prepare for carrying
the weight of all the cement until it is cured, wood posts will be placed upon
the first level floor under the corrugated steel sheeting.
2X4 lumber brought in for second floor supports.
Wood laid out inside the building in preparation
for supporting the second floor during the preparation and cement
pouring and curing stages.
During the next week, the supports are set in
place throughout the building. The first floor is finally ready to
be enclosed enabling the interior work to begin irrespective of the
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.