In Nicaragua it is traditional to put grills on the windows. We decided to use a simple design of interlocking squares. The grills were fabricated and installed by a Fundación scholarship student, Henry Sevilla. Henry is about to graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering. He did his internship with MultiServicios, the contractor for the Fundación offices, and was also the subcontractor for the roof and flashing. Henry's family has a welding shop half a block from the new offices.
From the very first designs of the new building, Alvaro's office was located on the northern side. This was because as Program Director, there is always a stream of scholarship students heading for his office. For this reason it made sense to have his office near the entrance. But when Alvaro finally sat in his completed office, we had to laugh at the memory of the day when we had first staked out the rooms, and Alvaro had imagined sitting at his desk. In reality, where he was crouching in 2018 is very close to where he is sitting in the office this week--and he is facing the same direction, east.
The staff moved into their new offices today, with the help of two parents of scholarship students. Karla Castillo, mother of Jeyson Pérez, helped pack, and José Rafael Ruiz, father of Nancy Ruiz, loaded the furniture on his truck and drove to the new offices. Several scholarhip students also helped.
With the rainy season approaching, the engineers decided that it would be best to improve on the rainwater system. The contractors installed a drain and a large pipe to remove rain but the slope of the back yard meant some rain would possibly pool against the building. A drainage canal was built along the side of the building out to the street on the east side by Engineer (and FAJB graduate) Kenneth Avendaño and his crew
Today the contractor, Multi Sercons.sa, of Rivas, presented the keys of the new office building to the Fundación staff. Even with coronavirus prevention measures, the building was finished a month ahead of schedule. We are thrilled with the job MultiServicios and our Supervisory staff did, as the building is absolutely beautiful.
We look forward to the staff moving in to their new offices in May, and to planting a garden in front of the building. When that is complete we will be holding an open house for the entire community!
For the last four months the back of the Fundación offices has been filled with a storage shed, a contractor's office, and construction materials. Now that it has been cleaned out we are celebrating how much space we have!
The plan is to build a simple patio to make the yard useful for student meetings and other gatherings. Our longer-term goal is to build a meeting room here, which will be used for student meetings, workshops, and also be available to rent to provide an income for the Fundación.
In Nicaragua, when the contractor says they are finished there is what is called a "Pre-Entrega," or "pre-delivery". The owner and the contractors tour the building and any issues are noted in the official pre-entrega document. The contractor then has 15 days to fix the issues before final delivery.
Supervising Engineer Luis Mendoza was in charge of checking for problems and noting them in the official document. Thankfully there weren't many issues, which means we should be ready for final delivery at the end of April.
Nicaragua has beautiful hardwoods, and we chose Laurel for our doors. All the doors are handmade and finished on site. The front door of both the Fundación office and the rental module have a glass insert that will include a design crafted in iron.
From the beginning, the idea for the new offices has included plans for rental space to bring in income. This first phase has a module for rental, with its own entrance and bathroom. The second phase is the meeting room, which would be available for rent when not being used for Fundación purposes, and the third phase are second-floor apartments.