BUILDING FIRM FOUNDATIONS
FALLING DOWN AROUND THEM
In 2016 we embarked on the task of replacing and rebuilding several of the buildings on the BGCH campus. The roofs and buildings that had provided shelter for over fifty years were failing. AT BGCH, summer season is followed by rainy season. Rainy season and leaky roofs are a bad combination. With each and every day, through rainy seasons and droughts, the walls and foundations had become more and more hazardous to the well being of our children and staff. The boys’ dormitory was especially in bad condition. After only hours of rain, parts of the hallway would be flooded. The buildings were literally crumbling apart and falling down around them. Some mornings, the boys would wake up in wet beds because of rain that came during the night. Beneath their wet bed, sheets, and blankets were wet clothes. The boys would shift their beds around to avoid the water, but it was inevitable. That year, thirty of our boys spent a couple of weeks living in the dining room where they were dry and safe from loose pieces of cement. For the safety of our children and staff, the needs HAD to be addressed. That's when project "Firm Foundation" was born.
The foundations of BGCH that began with "sixty dollars and a prayer" over 100 years ago were built firmly on solid ground. Over the years, provision for the needs of the Home has continued to come at just the right time. And now it’s time again. We need new "FIRM FOUNDATIONS" if BGCH is to continue its legacy of provision, caring, love and new life. The Firm Foundation Project is designed to prepare BGCH to continue serving students for generations to come. Here are the major elements to the plan:
Demolition and new construction of the boys’ dormitory including a new kitchen, storage rooms, and multi-purpose hall.
Demolition and new construction of the current school/administration building. This will begin after the boys have been relocated to their new dorm and the former widows’ home has been converted to the new school.
Renovations and repairs to the current girls’ dormitory as well as demolition of remaining small, unused old buildings around campus.
Renovation of the former widows’ home. This building will be used temporarily to house the boys until the new dormitory is built. At that point, this former widows’ home will become the new school building.
Restoration and rebuilding of the security wall that surrounds the 13-acre campus.
Renovation and improvement of the grounds and general appearance of the campus. This includes, but is not limited to, hauling away all trash, building materials and scraps that are not used, using the abandoned swimming pool as a landfill for leftover debris with the intention of eventually filling in the remainder of the pool with dirt, and removal of farm animals from the center of campus to a place more suitable.
Dedication Celebration – Introduction of the new campus to the children, staff, leadership and donors/supporters of BGCH. This celebration will take place upon completion of the above-proposed projects.
Renovate Temporary Housing for the Boys and Construct the New Boys' Dorm/Multipurpose Hall
The first half of this phase of the Firm Foundation project was to create a safe place for the boys to stay in while the new dorm was being built. Necessary changes were made to the former Home Of Peace (widows’ dorm) and it has since been used for temporary housing purposes. That completed the first half of Phase One.
The second half of this first phase involves the boys’ dormitory which was built in 1969. It is divided into three sections to keep the boys in rooms according to their age. There are two bathrooms in the boys’ dormitory buildings as well. This building was demolished and currently in progress is the construction of the new facility.The rebuilt dormitory will also house the new kitchen, storage rooms as well as the multipurpose hall.
IN PROGRESS PART OF PHASE ONE BOYS' DORM AND MULTI-PURPOSE BUILDING
With the completion of the security wall and the widows' home renovation, the second half of Phase One is now underway. This is the most extensive and most expensive portion of the entire Firm Foundation project and vision. Groundbreaking occurred in June of 2017 and construction is ongoing.
Address the Needs of the School/Admin/Offices Building
The second phase of construction and renovation is to address the needs in the school/administration/offices building. This building was the first one built on our campus in 1968. The ground floor of this building currently houses our offices and the second floor is the school with six classrooms. The renovations will include creating a multi-purpose room for staff and board meetings as well as moving the school to a separate location. After the boys’ dorm is built and the boys are relocated into their new dwelling, the widows’ home will then be renovated to house the school and its classrooms. The administration/office building will be built in the same location as the current administration building. This phase will begin after the boys have been able to move into the new boys’ dorm. This administration building will be the face of our campus and the first place guests see as they arrive on our campus.
Repairs to the Girls' Dormitory
The girls’ dormitory needs will be taken on as the last phase of our project. The two-story girls’ dormitory was built in 1993. A few of the bedrooms, the prayer hall and the front hall-way get wet due to leaks when it rains for multiple days at a time as it does during the rainy season. The dining hall and its adjoining room need to be repaired as soon as the boys’ dormitory is completed. Architects have suggested that we build pillars in the dining room to keep the roof from sinking and becoming a holding place for all of the water. In addition, the roof would need to be repaired and restructured so that the water runs off quickly.