Tugbong Elementary School
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Deconstruct to Rebuild a School
Hot sun, typhoon damage, structurally unsound buildings, sledge hammers, and ropes were the ingredients that made up this day deconstructing classrooms at Tugbong Elementary School on the Island of Leyte in the Philippines. One of the more rewarding kinds of trips, volunteering after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), yielded sweaty and exhausting days filled with accomplishment. At this school, deconstruction of unsafe buildings precluded any rebuilding on the same site. To take down a wall, the bottoms were knocked out with sledge hammers, rebar was sawed through to weaken the support beams, and the remaining concrete slab was pulled down by hand with ropes. The resulting crash caused celebration among all the volunteers on site - and the children who watched fearlessly as the walls tumbled down.
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