Overview

The NAVA Primary School is the largest project that has been taken on by EWB-UWP. The school will likely serve 250 students per year from grades kindergarten through sixth grade. The facility is a 9,100 square foot complex consisting of four independent buildings that will contain eight classrooms, a headmaster’s office, a food preparation area, and a library. The complex is arranged in a rectangular pattern with a courtyard in the middle for use as a garden or other extracurricular activities. To the north of the buildings, the property will contain an area for a playground, composting and garbage areas, latrine, and a designated location where a future junior high school may someday be constructed.

The school project was a product of interest displayed by the four various villages (Nsumia, Ahiabu, Vudu, and Akeokope) to improve the accessibility to the area schools. Construction of a new school was first seriously proposed in the fall of 2010.

Implementation

In January of 2010, Dr. Samuel Owusu-Ababio traveled to the project area in order to meet with local government officials and elders to acquire more information on the topic. Once support was established from necessary in-country officials, EWB-UWP began evaluating the feasibility of constructing a new school and the writing of a proposal began.

The NAVA Primary School is the largest project that has been taken on by EWB-UWP.

Initial construction of the school was to begin in the summer of 2011, however, due to limitations in funding, the organization was unable to travel. During the summer of 2011, our advisor Dr. Owusu-Ababio traveled to the project area with the founding president of EWB-USA, Bernard Amadei, to tour our chapter’s past projects. Any assessment of the projects was in the form of observations and photos taken by Dr. Owusu-Ababio. This was the first time EWB-UWP learned of the scour issues taking place at the bridge location in the village of Gidi.

Seven implementation trips, in addition to one assessment trip, were necessary in order for EWB-UWP to complete the school project. The first assessment trip in January 2011 was necessary in order to source materials for construction of the school and sign necessary Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the four communities involved in the project. The second trip was completed in August of 2012, the first half of the first phase of construction. The third trip, which completed the first phase of the school project, was completed in January of 2013.

The NAVA Primary school was originally planned to be completed in a three phases. Phase one would include the excavation and grading of site, as well as pouring the foundations and floors of all four buildings. Phase two involved constructing the masonry walls of the school and installing the bond beam for roof tie-in. Lastly, phase three would consist of constructing and installing the roofing, windows, and doors, and completing any finishing work. Due to limited funding, EWB-UWP was unable to complete phase one in one trip and consequently took two consecutive trips in August of 2012 and January of 2013. The following implementation trips to complete phase two of construction occurred in  January of 2014 and August of 2014. The final phase of construction was carried out in the latter half of the August 2014 implementation trip, in addition to the August 2015, January 2016, and August 2016 implementation trips.

Phase One: Complete

The August 2012 and January 2013 implementation trips for the NAVA Primary School included phase one construction on all four buildings. Phase one included the following aspects:

  • Clearing and grading the entire site according to the grading plan
  • Dig trenches for the footings
  • Place compacted stone sub base into trenches to bottom of footing elevation
  • Pour concrete footing
  • Lay two courses of masonry for the two remaining buildings
  • Place compacted stone sub base for the concrete floor slab
  • Pour concrete floor slab
  • Backfill outside of block with soil to minimize the risk of a wall blow-out and to elevate the grade to the top of slab

Phase Two: Complete

The January 2014 and August 2014 implementation trips for the NAVA Primary School included phase two of construction on all four buildings. Phase two included the following aspects:

  • Forming Concrete masonry blocks
  • Laying concrete masonry blocks up to nine courses in height (roughly 9’ high)
  • Marking out locations for windows and doors
  • Laying a final course of u-block
  • Pouring a concrete bond beam in the u-block on all four buildings
  • Installing J-Bolts for wood top-plate
  • Bracing walls for structural support until truss installation

Phase Three: Complete

The August 2014, August 2015, January 2016, and August 2016 implementation trips for the NAVA Primary School included phase three of construction on all four buildings. Following the completion of this phase of construction, the NAVA Primary School was structurally and architecturally complete. Phase three included the following aspects:

  • Cut out and placing top-plates
  • Construct a total of 75 wooden trusses
  • Raise trusses to the walls and securing with purlins
  • Install sheet metal roof on all four buildings
  • Install gutter system on all four buildings
  • Install window and door frames on all four buildings
  • Install window shutters and doors
  • Install soffit on all four buildings
  • Install ceilings in selected rooms
  • Apply plaster and paint to interiors and exteriors of all four buildings
  • Grade site for drainage

Transition

Currently, EWB-UWP’s Ghanaian partners are working to furnish and find staff for the NAVA Primary School.  The chapter is excited to announce that the school is scheduled to open in September of 2017.  As the final touches are put on the school, the chapter would like to thank all previous and current members, sponsors, professional mentors, volunteers, and everyone who has worked to make this project a success.