Construction Of Six New Classrooms

UMC Secondary School At Makeni

On Monday, July 18, 2005, Operation Classroom team members assisted the work crew made up of Makeni secondary and elementary teachers and a construction superintendant in the start of the new construction project to add six new classrooms to the UMC Secondary School. Everyone pitched in and the hot African sun and heat and humidity did little to slow the pace. Below left: Rev. Paul Murphy Geiss shown with some of the teachers who made up the work crew. Below right: Hope Law with two little helpers. Students and children from the school area helped with many of the tasks needed to support the construction effort.

Above: Sheku Seisay [L] , mathematics teacher at the UMC Secondary School and Les Law [R] at the Bumbuna Dam construction site that mathematics and science teachers visited. Les and his wife Hope were the leaders of the UMC Colorado Council group. Les arranged air travel, hotels, and transfers to and from Sierra Leone. Once in Sierra Leone Les was very busy arranging and coordinating projects with Saffa Koroma. Whether it was trying to find and purchase more cement and sand for the construction project, settling misunderstandings with the many groups involved in the projects, or arranging and making sure that the myriad of details in such a large project were carried out, Les found little down time during our two weeks in Makeni. The OC group is indebted to all that Les did to make the construction project, workshops, trips in Sierra Leone and our Makeni adventure such a valuable experience.

All construction was accomplished by manual methods. A large rock pile supplied rocks that were broken into pieces. Then those pieces were broken again to form a pile of smaller rocks which could be used for gravel when mixing cement. During the first week the work crew used cement made in Sierra Leone. However because of many construction projects in the country there was a shortage of cement. The second week the work crew obtained cement made in South Korea. After the foundation was poured individual cement blocks were produced using four metal molds. Then the teacher-masons began building the walls.