While classrooms are empty for the moment, APC has been preparing to welcome young people in the valley again with new facilities for the library, science and computer classrooms with better teacher offices. This is being developed as “Balay Magnanau” the central block of the school.
The bamboo shell has been constructed with giant bamboo grown over the last ten years in the area. This forms part of the integral management of local resources and a basis for training young people with a new technology that we are asking certification from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to teach. This bamboo shell of treated bamboo is made up of multiple frames that will be fitted with chicken wire, reinforced with flat bars and then plastered. So, from the outside little bamboo will be seen while inside all the present framework will be evident. It is an exciting process both in the physical construction but also socially creating much interest.
There are other activities spread out so we are able to keep everyone working without laying off any staff. During the extended summer period, our older students wanted to work so we started forming different construction teams. The dalēpaan (the cultural home away from home) that was completed in the first quarter of the year gave the youth space to live, but lacked adequate facilities given its size. In the last three months, they have built toilets and showers along with a main tub for laundry. They have brought in the water supply and managed the drainage through biopore. Toilets are also being built for the bamboo Processing, Storage, and Fabrication facility that has slowly been providing the treated bamboo for “Balay Magnanau”.
There is an added elevated classroom on the old block built in 2017 which gives needed space with cool sheltered open area underneath. The construction team makes sure to follow necessary health protocols such as wearing face masks, disinfecting of hands, temperature check every morning, and limiting the number of people working in an area. The team works for four hours a day, and also takes two hours of Global English Language online based learning and two hours of Laudato Si’ formative writing and painting. So, it has been a quiet and constructive summer time.