The Chitom School in the municipality of Joyabaj, Guatemala is a one-story confined masonry structure. The project includes a retaining wall structure consisting of masonry with tension ties and an on-site wastewater system consisting of a septic tank with field lines. Prior to the construction of the project, an existing school consisted of two teachers and 61 students meeting in a community salon divided into two rooms. The project provided the community with a more formal learning environment for the students in the community as well as improved sanitation.
We would like to acknowledge the assistance of the EWB-Wisconsin Professional Partners on this project. They provided funds, design mentorship, and travel mentorship, and this project would not have been possible without them.
Project Manager: Lauren Itzin
Faculty Advisor: Todd M. Davis, Ph.D.
Responsible Engineer in Charge: Max Schmiege, PE
Structural Design Mentor: Martin Aquino, PE
Water Resources Design Mentor: Doug Nelson
Tying rebar for the retaining wall footing.
Rebar bent to account for the higher part that could not be excavated further for the retaining wall footing.
Tying in column bases for the retaining wall.
Pouring concrete for retaining wall footing.
Tying in column cages.
Tying back column cages.
Laying first layer of block.
Pouring the first beam.
Backfilling retaining wall.
Last stage of the retaining wall construction prior to EWB-MSOE departure.
Excavating septic field.
Backhoe used for excavation.
Laying pipe in the septic field.
Leveling pipe in the septic field.
Cutting pipe for the septic field.
Covering pipe in the septic field with gravel.
Covering the gravel layer with woven plastic bags.
Making a tool used to punch holes in the woven plastic bags to create filters.
Using the tool made on site to punch holes into the woven plastic bags.
Covering the septic field with soil.
Continuing to backfill the septic field.
Leveling the pipes connecting the septic field to the distribution box.
Constructing the walls of the distribution box.
Final construction stage of the distribution box prior to MSOE departure.
Pipe connecting the distribution box to the septic tank.
Preparing to pour the footing for the school.
Constructing the walls for the school.
Back view of the school during construction.
Front view the retaining wall and the school during construction.
Back view of the school displaying the roof structure during construction.
Bathrooms under construction.