March 10th 2011 - ground-breaking ceremony
On Thursday 10th March the Kisimenyi community (including pupils, parents, staff and the school management committee) as well as local government officials and dignatories came together to launch the project to rebuild Kisimenyi Primary School.
During a memorable, if exhausting day, for all involved ,the Kenyan national anthem was beautifully sung, a range of other songs, poems and dances were performed by pupils and the community, speeches were made and, finally, ground was broken on the site for the new school by a select groups of individuals behind the project.
March 10th to 17th June - preparatory work
Immediately following the ceremony, the project management team (including Founding Director Charles Coldman, Project Manager Denis Mwanyiro, Headmaster Amon Mwandoe and Engineer Tom Mwakireti) marked out the rough footings of the first phase of buildings. There then followed a lengthy period of preparation as the site was cleared and levelled, locally available materials such as sand, gravel and hardcore were delivered to site and over 32,000 bricks and 4,500 concrete blocks were individually hand-made. Time was also needed to recruit a team of builders and this was done in consultation with the community and head builder, Elude Mwachofe.
20th June 2011 - construction begins
Construction work got underway on the 20th June with the engineer coming to site to accurately mark out the foundations (as accurately as one can using traditional local techniques!). Foundation trenches for all the five buildings were then dug by hand using a large team of labourers, mainly young men.
Digging took a couple of weeks, and was followed by the mixing (again by hand) of tonnes of concrete for the buildings foundation footings. On top of this, three courses of concrete blocks were laid before the trenches were backfilled.
Work has reached different stages on each of the buildings as recent progress has been staggered.
- library - nine courses of bricks laid and walls just about window mantle level;
- classroom block - six courses of bricks laid on one building and work on brick laying getting underway on the other;
- staffroom & office block - all exterior and interior walls at lintel level awaiting preparation of timber mould and steel reinforcements for concrete lintel;
- nursery - foundations completed