Engineers ensure Primary School ready for First Day of Class

Abdi Ali, CJTF-HOA J44 Force Engineer’s office interpreter and construction specialist, listens as Omar Aouled; the local contractor discusses work he has done at Ecole de la Boulas Primary School on Sept. 9, 2014, in Djibouti City, Djibouti. CJTF-HOA J44 Force Engineer's Office Interpreter listens as Local Contractor Discusses Past Work

Abdi Ali, CJTF-HOA J44 Force Engineer’s office interpreter and construction specialist, listens as Omar Aouled; the local contractor discusses work he has done at Ecole de la Boulas Primary School on Sept. 9, 2014, in Djibouti City, Djibouti. J44 engineers were inspecting progress on the  $121,000 Humanitarian Assistance (HA) project the day before school started for 663 students, ensuring a safe environment and quality control. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt Dillon White)

Soran Sadoon, CJTF-HOA J44 Force Engineer’s office civil engineer left, speaks with the local contractor, Omar Aouled concerning the process of installation of the titled floor in the Library through Abdi Ali, CJTF-HOA J44 interpreter and construction specialist, center, Sept. 9, 2014, at Ecole de la Boulas Primary School in Djibouti City, Djibouti. CJTF-HOA J44 Civil Engineer discusses Process of Installing Titled Floor

Soran Sadoon, CJTF-HOA J44 Force Engineer’s office civil engineer left, speaks with the local contractor, Omar Aouled concerning the process of installation of the titled floor in the Library through Abdi Ali, CJTF-HOA J44 interpreter and construction specialist, center, Sept. 9, 2014, at Ecole de la Boulas Primary School in Djibouti City, Djibouti. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt Dillon White)

U.S. Navy Reserve Lt. Cmdr. (sel) Richard Scitzs, Djibouti Country engineer, speaks with Lt. Cmdr. Fredelix Menez, CJTF-HOA J44 Humanitarian Assistance Program Manager, during an inspection Sept. 9, 2014, at Ecole de la Boulas Primary School in Djibouti City, Djibouti. U.S. Navy Reserve Lt U.S. Cmdr., speaks with J44 Huminatarian Assistance Manager during Inspection

U.S. Navy Reserve LtU.S. Cmdr. (sel) Richard Scitzs, Djibouti Country engineer, speaks with Lt. Cmdr. Fredelix Menez, CJTF-HOA J44 Humanitarian Assistance Program Manager, during an inspection Sept. 9, 2014, at Ecole de la Boulas Primary School in Djibouti City, Djibouti. (U.S. Air Force photo Staff Sgt Dillon White)

U.S. Navy Reserve Lt. Cmdr. (sel) Richard Scitzs, Djibouti country engineer, speaks with an official from the Djiboutian Ministry of Education Sept. 9, 2014, at Ecole de la Boulas in Djibouti City, Djibouti. U.S. Navy Reserve Lt. Cmdr. speaks with an Official from the Djiboutian Ministry of Education

U.S. Navy Reserve Lt. Cmdr. (sel) Richard Scitzs, Djibouti country engineer, speaks with an official from the Djiboutian Ministry of Education Sept. 9, 2014, at Ecole de la Boulas in Djibouti City, Djibouti. J44 engineers were inspecting progress on a $121,000 Humanitarian Assistance project the day before school started for 663 students, ensuring a safe environment and quality control. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt Dillon White)

Djama, an employee of Enterprise Ago Amin, touches up paint on Sept. 9, 2014, at Ecole de la Boulas Primary School in Djibouti City, Djibouti. Enterprise Ago Amin Employee touches up Paint at Ecole de la Boulas Primary School

Djama, an employee of Enterprise Ago Amin, touches up paint on Sept. 9, 2014, at Ecole de la Boulas Primary School in Djibouti City, Djibouti. Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa J44 engineers were inspecting progress on the $121,000 Humanitarian Assistance (HA) project the day before school started for 663 students, ensuring a safe environment and quality control. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt Dillon White)

Engineers from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) J44 Force Engineer’s office conducted a pre-final inspection on Ecole de la Boulas Sept. 9, 2014, in Djibouti City.

The inspection verified the progress of renovations to the facilities in preparation for the start of school that was constructed by the French in 1951 to a safe and usable condition.

School began Sept. 10 for the 663 students.

“There is still some work to be completed but it is a significant improvement of the facilities prior to the start of the renovation.” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. (sel) Richard Scitzs, Djibouti country engineer. “We look at complete, usable, long term improvements that will reduce maintenance cost and are [locally] sustainable.”

The $121,000 humanitarian assistance project included the demolition and construction of a new library with computer access, renovation of two classroom buildings, latrines, director’s office, and construction of a larger septic system to accommodate both Ecole de la Boulas and another adjacent school, restoration of a walled security fence and expansion of the electrical system.

Renovation improvements included interior and exterior plastering, repainting, refurbishment and replacement of electrical wiring, replacement of electrical controller, panels, junction boxes and fixing non-working ceiling fans and lights.

“Carrying out this project is very appreciated,” said Ali Mohamed Dini, Ecole de la Boulas Primary School director. “Everyone will be happy, myself as the director, the children and the parents. Tomorrow on the first day of school, they will see their school renewed and see a great change.”

In addition to the work already completed, CJTF-HOA engineers are working to obtain eight new blackboards for the classrooms and to complete the flooring of the library.

“On behalf of the parent’s association, we thank the U.S. military for doing this work,” Dini said. “The teachers are very happy to see the improvements.”

For J44 engineers, it means they are closer to releasing the project back to the Djiboutian Ministry of Education and the school staff of Boulas and moving on to multiple other projects. For the students at Ecole de la Boulas, it means a safer learning environment with fresh water, clean latrines, fully operating fans and bright lights in their classrooms for years to come.

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Humanitarian Assistance USAID J44 Force Engineers

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