2019 is becoming the year of building! Early in the year a second Ventilated Improved Latrine block (with sewage tank that can be emptied when needed) was completed, then the Uphill building team moved onto the first of two additional classroom blocks. By the end of this academic year we hope that all the primary school children will have moved into spacious permanent classrooms. We are getting Uphill out of the mud!
This is the story of the Primary 3/4 classroom block, plus large storage room, started in late April and finished in late June:
Setting out the foundations on a sloping site took quite a bit of planning and digging (all by hand, of course!).
Once the foundation walls had been built, it was time to add the hard core (again, all moved into place by hand).
The foundation slab needed to cure for a week or two before construction of the superstructure could begin.
Putting up the walls.
Building the veranda supports.
Installing the frame for the roof.
Ceiling frames have also been installed.
On with the corrugated iron roof…
Each classroom has 4 large, glazed windows and a secure steel door.
In the words of the school director “Uphill has gone blue!”. the school’s iconic blue roofs now dominate the plot and have become a striking visual feature when viewed from the surrounding hills.
The children in Primary 3 and 4 will move into the building as soon as the concrete floor has set. The builders will then start to prepare the foundations for the Primary 1 & 2 classroom block. We plan to install electricity then plaster and paint the two blocks together during the long Christmas holidays. Even brick-walled classrooms are a great improvement on the cramped, muddy temporary wooden classrooms!
Funding for the two new classroom blocks came many sources, including Dundee Kiltwalk 2018, the Dollar Academy Sponsored Walk 2018, plus matched funds from Giving Tuesday 2018 and other fundraising events.
A huge Uphill thank you to everyone who has helped to make these buildings a reality!
UPDATE: JULY 2019
Primary 3 in their new classroom
Primary 4 hard at work in their new classroom, with tables and chairs that should be much more comfortable than the traditional desks they had in their old room
Guttering plus two 10,000L water tanks have now been installed to collect rainwater from the roof of the P3/4 classroom – in a community with no mains water, every drop is valuable!
Not only have the children moved into the classrooms, but the store room is now in use and the wide balcony is already being put to good use as some of the children get to grips with the treadle sewing machines we bought for the school on our visit in February.
UPDATE: AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019
One block complete and occupied, and another on the way! The P1/2 classroom block is being constructed behind the McNabb Building (P5/6/7).
The school site slopes in many directions, and this has caused challenges for the builders all along. You can see that they have had to excavate quite a lot of soil (all by hand, of course!) to create the foundations of the P1/2 block.
The walls are going up! The area between the two buildings will be ‘water tank city’ by the time the rain water harvesting has been installed for the P1/2 block.
P1/2 almost ready for it’s blue roof!
And here it is!
If you have ever wondered where the huge blackboards in the classroom come from, now you know – they build them in situ and paint them with special chalkboard paint.
As soon as the windows, doors and a smooth concrete floor have been installed PRIMARY 1 and 2 will also be OUT OF THE MUD!
We are so proud of our team of local builders, many of whom send their children to the school – this school is being built by the people, for the people, with the help of all of The Uphill Trust’s fabulous supporters. THANK YOU EVERYONE
UPDATE: FEBRUARY 2020
We arrived at the school on the first day of our trustee visit and were over the moon to see the new classrooms already in the process of being painted. The grand opening was due 10 days after our arrival and the Uphill Build Team worked non stop painting the classrooms inside and out, and touching up the paint on the McNabb Building at the same time.
Primary 1/2 ready to be transformed into a true Uphill classroom!
Walls done, window and door surrounds being touched up…
Now for the Uphill ‘stripes’!
Painting was competed inside as well as outside.
Just look at this school now – doesn’t it look fine?
The whole school was inspected and the new classrooms were officially opened by local dignitaries at the Kindergarten Graduation on Saturday 22 February 2020.