Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Campus Story

Before launching into my "First Day of School" posts, I really want to record the amazing transformation of our campus. We are renting this facility, and in the course of the last year while we were waiting for occupation of it, it became more and more of a "fixer-upper."

We were allowed to move in during late June. 28 moving truck loads brought our things from the old campus. We did our best to label and put them in the right places. Still, much had to be sorted and moved. And it all had to be unpacked! People worked tirelessly to get it done.

When we arrived back in country, it was still very much a work in progress. I've created some collages of pictures I took. I really wanted to document this inspiring process.

Our hallways were filthy. Dust from construction and the move just wouldn't come up with a mopping or multiple moppings. Our new campus had not been inspected for 20 years. We would need some basics, like fire escapes. So, walls were punched out, and doors and staircases put in. There was not a single smoke detector in the facility (designed for 900 kids). As teachers arrived back, they began setting up their individual classrooms. Things started to take shape. Still there were common areas we all needed to attack. 

My kids took my classroom on as a project. This was such a help to me. Soon, it was looking great. The outside areas needed so much renovation. We used the money we had saved to give it a facelift. A new surface was put on the outdoor basketball court. We moved every single thing we had from the old campus, so soon a playground was behind the school, with our old equipment. The days were long. We would head out the door at 7AM and usually got home around bedtime. Day after day. I remember at several points thinking that I could literally stretch out in a hallway at school and sleep, with people stepping over me. 

I could go on and on listing the projects and tasks that needed to be done. There was no grass, so CC got grass seed planted and sprouting. The entire facility, inside and out, needed to be painted. The outdoor mini-soccer field needed surfacing. The tennis court needed surfacing. Everything needed to be fixed! 

Here's one before and after I created. This is how the library looked during the summer, and all of the work to get it set up. It's adorable now! 

The sports complex, at the back of the property, was sore in need of work. CC used some of our money to resurface the basketball court, which was unusable until then. The pool needed major work, so the scrubbing and re-tiling began. Perhaps the most wonderful transformation was the back field. It was just a rocky, hilly, stubbly, sheep-grazing field. He hired a company to level it off and create a soccer field for our kids. They have never in 13 years played on their own field. In fact, even to practice, they would use the local sports field, condemned and chained up. The kids would crawl through an opening in the fence and hope no one commanded them to leave. To have our own field is such a joy! 

The rooms really started coming together and looking beautiful! Our staff kids were a big part of the work effort. They worked tirelessly along with the teachers to move boxes, set up rooms, clean, wire computers (there were no computer labs in the buildings, nor a single networked computer to a classroom), babysit younger staff kids while the parents worked. I was so proud of this bunch of kids! 

There were some spots of joy in the midst of the tiring work. We saw beautiful sunsets each of these summer nights. One day the teachers treated the staff kids to ice cream sundaes to say thanks for all the work. We had a visit from our network director and his wife to officially open the new campus. Time in God's Word kept me focused during this time. The spiritual forces were at work, and it was obvious each day. But God was faithful. 
And soon, opening day came. There would still be more work to do, but it was ready. I will never forget the month that all this took place. 


Tara G. said...

Wow - so much work! Can't wait for more!

Angie said...

Looks like a lot of work but quite the transformation

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