Designing and building a better future

Being a large boarding school, St. Catherine Senior High School will be built in three phases. Only the base, columns and walls of a single building were present on the school site when AddYouCation became actively involved in the project. The first phase will see the construction of two residences for the headmistress and the teaching staff, a classroom block and a dormitory for 165 pupils, and a spacious dining hall.

First task: Optimising the masterplan

In coordination with HENN, the first task was to review and redesign the existing masterplan. The key aspects were the campus design and the development of a centre. Architecture students of Prof. Gunter Henn at TU Dresden devised and developed some interesting concepts as part of a design seminar. At the same time, AddYouCation secured the finances for the entire two-storey dormitory. The project was finally going ahead at full speed. Architect Christian Noertemann travelled to Ghana in February 2010 to supervised the first phase of the construction until the completion of all the buildings. He worked closely with the diocese and ensured that the entire 150,000 Euros raised by AddYouCation were spent on the buildings. Our involvement directly resulted in the Dutch Miek Stevens Foundation to fund the dining hall.

Overcoming obstacles together

The project team in Agbakope was continually confronted with unforeseeable situations demanding patience and flexibility. This included the electricity network cutting out for a whole day, uninterrupted rain halting construction or material failing to arrive. Despite these obstacles, the construction process moved forward swiftly. Together, we made decisions throughout the construction process giving the school campus a sense of individuality and sustainability.

Next to his work on site, Christian Nörtemann also took the opportunity to forge important relationships. Several Ghanaian and German institutions as well as companies in Accra were open for dialogue and provided helpful advice. After completing the first phase, the German Ambassador, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the visitors from the Rotary Club were impressed by the buildings’ quality. The Ghanaian government took interest in the school so much so that it committed to funding the second building phase.

Our primary objective is supervising the current third phase of construction of the girls’ school and supporting further school projects.