FOLLOW ALONG ON OUR JOURNEY
Building Rehab Project
Over a course of 5 weeks, crews demolished and rebuilt the roof. Crews worked feverishly to get the building ready to receive the HEFY Volunteers and to create a safe space for them to work. The first phase of this project was made possible through the generous donations of countless businesses and volunteers.
Group #1 set the tone for the entire building project. From placing the first cement blocks to positioning rebar, and even pouring the first batch of concrete. They were able to successfully mark out the location of all the surrounding walls. Additionally, they began the process of sealing the open areas that would become the building’s walls. With positive spirits and pure intentions, they gave every bit of sweat and effort they had.
Group #2 followed with much excitement, enthusiastically picking things up where the first group left off. With concrete crusted sneakers and dirty work gloves, they continued setting the walls’ blocks. This group also began placing wood beams for the foundation of the upstairs’ flooring. They also actively continued the process of adding blocks to seal the open areas of the building, getting closer to the walls that would later be plastered by following groups.
Group #3 worked expeditiously, trying to finish the cement-block walls enclosing the perimeter of the property. They also partook in some much-needed demolition, hammering out the old wooden window frames to make space for the new ones. This group did lots of lifting, as well as relocated the many needed wooden beam and sheets to secure them from rain- preserving the quality of the wood. Additionally, they continued setting the wooden flooring for the upstairs area.
Group #4 began honing in on the concrete work within the building itself. They worked on pacing cement blocks to properly shape the spaces where the windows would go. Leveling was especially crucial at that time, ensuring that the windows were symmetrical. They mixed and distributed buckets of concrete like a well-oiled machine. Also, they worked on setting the wooden skeleton for the wall partitions of each room.
Group #5 began the difficult task of pouring the wall capping and the messy undertaking of plastering the walls. They mixed several bags of concrete and gravel to make adequate mortar. The art of creating the perfect mixture was quite challenging, as watery or too-thick mortar made an already tricky plastering process even more difficult. This group also worked hard removing the residual flooring, making the floor flat and ready for future re-flooring.
Group #6 carried the torch of the following groups- focusing primarily on getting as much plastering completed as possible. This group successfully completed all the outer walls of the building, leaving each wall with a smooth surface. This group kicked the vision into high gear, creating walls that looked so close to finished products.
Group #7 focused on plastering the exterior walls. They smoothed the surfaces connecting the window spaces and surrounding walls, creating a more cohesive appearance. This group poured concrete for the exterior stairs and outside patio. They also sledged residual wall that obscured the cavities of the upstairs windows. This group came and left with just as much zeal and gratitude as the very first group.
THANK YOU HEFY!!
PROJECT PROMISE BUILDING REHAB FUNDRAISER A SUCCESS
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (JUNE 13, 2021) – Project Promise, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of at-risk youths in St. Croix is thrilled to announce that, thanks to the success of its recent fundraising efforts, rehabilitation of the group’s building in downtown Christiansted is now underway.
Project Promise has a number of programs that have already proven successful, including an intensive, holistic multi-year after-school program. For seven years the organization has been operating out of borrowed facilities because their 2,200 square foot facility has been uninhabitable.
In May, the Humanitarian Experience for Youth surprised Project Promise by offering to provide $25,000 of funding plus seven weeks of volunteer labor to start rehabbing the building. On top of this, Home Depot offered to provide $22,000 worth of building materials for this effort.
“It was an incredible opportunity,” Project Promise President and Founder Resa O’Reilly relates, “but there was a catch. We had to get the roof replaced by June 11th, so that the building would be safe for the volunteers to be in. This meant that we had just five weeks to raise $50,000 and get the work done!”
The community response was so strong that between cash and in-kind donations $84,879.58 was raised from 29 businesses and 119 individuals—enough to fund the roof replacement plus additional work that the building will require.
Major donors include:
Haugland VI $ 25,000
AMC Construction-demo work $10,500 in-kind donation
St. Croix Trading-lumber for roof $ 6,210 in-kind donation
TEAM Consultants $ 5,000
St. Croix Board of Realtors $ 5,000
Oriental Bank $ 5,000
IPOS $ 2,500
Banco Popular $ 2,000
Once completed, the building will be more than “just” a home for Project Promise. It will also serve as a community center with classrooms, a computer lab, a full kitchen, a laundry center (some students’ families cannot afford to wash their clothes), a multipurpose room, office space and more.
“We are extremely grateful to our supporters,” Resa says, “and bursting with excitement about the program expansions that will be possible once the building rehabilitation is complete.” Individuals can make donations to support the building rehabilitation project by visiting the Project Promise website, www.projectpromisevi.com.