Institut Foyer du Savoir "Home of Knowledge"

ABSTRACT

Institut Foyer du savoir provides education for about 400 students from Kinder-garden to the 6th Grade (Ages: 3-20 years old). Registration cost each year is 3,500 Gourdes and 500 Gourdes each month after that. The cost covers for school uniform, food and school supplies for each student. School hours run from 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm, with 16 teachers for the school.

BACKGROUND

Haiti’s recent earthquake left the original school building collapsed and beyond repair. Afterward, the Institut Foyer du savoir created a temporary site to provide the continued support and educational services for their community. A small residence was converted into classrooms and additional space created by tarpaulins strung out as shade coverings over the driveway.

Prior to the earthquake, the school provided education to nearly 200 students in the morning session with another 200 participating in the afternoon. With class levels ranging from Kindergarden through 6th grade, the students’ typical age is from 3-20 years. An annual tuition of 3,500 Gourde (approximately $90 USD) plus another 500 Gourde each month covers associated costs for school uniforms, food and supplies for each student.

After an evaluation of the school’s existing structure, The Rebuilding Center and Architecture for Humanity Port-au-Prince have developed a proposed design for relocating and rebuilding the school facilities. This new campus will provide a safe built environment for Haitian children to attend school and provide support facilities for community members.

TRANSITION

Currently classes are being held in a cramped, temporary facility rented by the school. Providing sufficient space for hosting the participating students and the necessary infrastructure to support a functioning school, is a difficult task. The four rooms of the converted residence function as classrooms while the driveway provides additional tarpaulin covered learning areas for the overflowing classes.

SITE

Located in the Delmas 75 region of Port-au-Prince, Haiti; the proposed site and new construction will continue to support the school’s existing surrounding community.

Site Specific Information

Location: Avenue Fragneauville, Delmas 75, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Approximate Size: 12,872 square feet (1,195.847 square meters)

Site Description:

• Sloping site with extended views in multiple directions
• Open, cleared lot provides good exposure to cooling mountain breezes and direct sunlight
• Vegetation is limited to a few existing small trees at the western perimeter of the property and various field grasses.

PHASES

Phase 1

• building footprint: 3,888 square feet
• 6 classrooms
• circulation balcony
• mechanical space
• administration office
• student & staff bathrooms

Phase 2

• building footprint: 1,728 square feet
• multipurpose room
• kitchen
• staff dorms
• water collection cistern

Phase 3

• building footprint: 1,833 square feet
• kindergarten
• courtyard
• 2 classrooms
• additional bathrooms
• circulation balcony
• water collection cistern

CURRENT SITUATION:

The school is currently functioning at a temporary location that the owners are renting. The original structure of the school has completely collapsed and a new site is in negotiation for purchase.

Classes are being held in an unfinished structure, inadequate for 200 students. There are only 4 rooms within the structure being used as classroom space including an exterior area with access to only one latrine.

PROGRAM

-Kindergarten for 100 students (morning session)

-Preschool/Elementary classrooms for 200 students (morning session)

-Secondary classrooms for 100 students (afternoon session)

-Vocational Classes for 100 students (afternoon session)

-Administration space

-Computer Lab

-Library

-Kitchen/Cafeteria/Community Multipurpose Room

-Dorms for 8 teachers

-Latrine Facilities

Frontline/The World June 2008