Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Facilities for Broadening Education

I am heading back to the Democratic Republic of Congo on February 2nd with a seven-person eMi team.  Not to the north-eastern reaches where ongoing unrest continues with rebel forces but rather to the far west, on the Atlantic shores of Boma, one of the earliest cities settled by Europeans in western Africa.  Despite its rich history and stability because of its strategic location by the ocean and its proximity to the capital city Kinshasa inland, the standard of living in the region for many citizens is still quite low.
Mother Child
Our first team in 2008 prepared a new master plan for FACTEB seminary with the goal to enlarge and enliven the aging campus.  To this end the team designed a new library building and married student housing quadplexes that will eventually replace the current poorly-serviced housing units.  The first level of the library is now built and in use, awaiting final funding to complete the upper classroom and faculty office level.  The first married student housing building will be completed for occupancy some time in 2013 with more buildings to be constructed as funds become available.
Facteb mai 2010 040  1600x1200
This Phase 2 Project will revisit the master plan and incorporate new ideas to match the now broader mandate of the school.  In the intervening years of our visits, the Congolese leadership decided the school would go beyond seminary training for pastoral vocations to include technical and management training.  The school is now to be called the University of the Alliance in Congo (UAC).
DSC01625  Kopie
The new assignment for our team will include designing a new roof for an aging meeting hall to extend its usefulness, designing new faculty and guest housing, designing administration offices and developing plans to replace the large, single-space meeting hall with a multi-purpose, multi-room conference centre.  These additional spaces will increase the capacity of UAC to offer a greater range of courses and welcome more guest professors and trainers.
Site Plan
Our team of seven will include an Architect/Campus Planner (Florida), Civil Engineer (California), Structural Engineer (Calgary), CAD Drafter (California), a Civil Engineering Tech student experienced in conducting topographic surveys (Loyalist College, Ontario) and an eMi Intern who is a civil engineering graduate (Cal Tech).  Following the project trip we will also have the assistance of an electrical engineer (Kentucky) and a structural designer/drafter (Ohio).  What a team!

To read more about this project on the eMi Canada website click here:  Project 10036: University of the Alliance in Congo

Please keep us in prayer as we travel in the air and on the ground and also remember my family and the families of each of our seven team members as we are away for this project. Thank you to all our supporters and friends who are making it possible for me to do this work. I will update this blog as I am able in the DRC but for sure will provide a follow-up upon our return.

No comments: