Divino Jesus School

The Divino Niño Jesus School is part of the Happpy Hearts Fund – SURA school rebuilding program. The school has been developed with the support of Architecture for Humanity involved in providing architectural support for: school selection, architectural design and construction administration.

The School
The Divino Niño Jesus School is located in the community of Pueblo Nuevo within the urban area of the city of Chincha in the Ica region. After the 2007 earthquake four classrooms were heavily damaged and they had to demolish them as a safety precaution. They also lack space as they have over 340 pre-school and primary students placed in different improvised modules made from corrugated roof top, timber walls, and inadequate furniture. The typology of the modules makes it very uncomfortable spaces for children to attend classes.

The Project
The school community managed the donation of a land in a nearby plot. The new project consists in the design of a school facility for primary and preschool students within the limits of the recently allocated plot. The new construction will start from scratch as the site is empty therefore it won’t affect the school’s activities. The school project addresses the current infrastructure needs by providing appropriate educational spaces in accordance with the school’s educational curriculum.

The new school project includes:

• 8 new classrooms for preschool education.• 3 new classrooms for primary education.• 1 new computer lab including equipment and furniture.• Toilets suitable for the different age groups.• Administrative area including a private toilet.• Perimeter wall in the 4 sides of the plot.• 2 entrances for the school.• Green areas.• Exterior shading areas
• Water storage units.• Exterior works.• Electrical, water & drainage services connection.• Courtyard (2nd phase of the project).

The project addresses the current infrastructure needs by providing the necessary classrooms for future terms in accordance with the school’s educational plan, one computer lab which can be shared with a library, also the project considers the necessary landscape works to enable students to have comfortable recreational facilities. Among the external works it is important to consider areas for sport and physical activities, as well as shading areas to protect the children from the sun.

During the design stage it was very important to generate community participation by working along with the school in different workshops and other activities. The workshops’ objectives were introduced to engage and enthusiasm the school’s community towards their new school and explain them that this is a process in which everyone must be committed in order to have the best school possible; also the activities were an important tool to understand the school’s most important needs, priorities, interests, and engage them in a participatory design process.

Architecture for Humanity
The role of Architecture for Humanity was essential throughout all the school reconstruction stages. The first step was to run the school evaluations process to select the best school option. The next stage involved Architecture for Humanity designing the new school in a participatory process as well as coordinating with the local engineers and other professionals the necessary construction documents needed to start the works. Once construction takes place Architecture for Humanity will closely monitor the construction site and provide construction administration services in order to build a quality infrastructure that will be used by the children of Pueblo Nuevo.

Activities during construction
The following list includes the links to the reports and presentations of the most relevant activities that took place during the design and construction process as well as other school activities.

School evaluation
Evaluation form with most important data, information, images and details describing the school and its surroundings before the school reconstruction took place
Workshops engaging the community
Report describing the most important activities, workshops, and design charrettes involving the school community during the design stage.
Architectural design brief
Report describing the architectural program including basic data, general concepts, guidelines and objectives of the school project.
Schematic Design
Architectural project describing and visualizing how the new school will look like once construction is complete.