With a VERY generous grant from the Douglas A. Campbell Foundation (DACF) we were able to get started on a much needed new roof and final renovation of the Girls Dorm!
The girls at Wat Opot took up residence in the previous volunteer dorm in July 2011 upon the completion of a new volunteer dorm. The space the girls occupy is more house-like than the symmetrical boy’s dorm. The building housing the girls is new-to-them but part of the building is one of the oldest structures on the property. The building has gone through many renovations over the years both interior and exterior as needs have arisen.
Who remembers this original PC office/Wayne’s room building?
Because of the many renovations structurally, causing the addition of multiple roof additions, the girl’s dorm roof leaked terribly in almost every room. Mismatched roofing tiles and/or weathered tiles allowed for the 6 month rainy season to descend both outside and inside the space. Although slipping and sliding on the wet interior tiles is great fun for little girls, having the caregiver slip and fall while holding a baby is not.
Adding a kitchen to the girl’s dorm has been an idea which was not possible to incorporate during the major renovation in 2012. Now that the serious roof issue must be addressed it was decided that if there was going to be another addition, now is the time because once the new roof is on, there will not be any more exterior changes possible.
For those of you who have been a Wat Opot friend for a long time, you may remember the various stages of the building as seen from our proposal diagram:
To see the renovation in 2012, please click HERE:
To get things rolling, first the roof along the porch was removed.
and then they started removing the roof room by room and building up the walls to accommodate the higher roof.
The new addition will consist of a ‘mud room’ for the girl’s bicycles as well as a place for everyone to keep their shoes. Cambodia follows the tradition of removing your shoes upon entering a room (that’s why flip-flops are imperative here – unless you like removing closed toed shoes 20 times a day)…there will also be a full kitchen and another bedroom.
Finally the new roof started going up. It’s the dry season so we weren’t too worried about rain, but the girls didn’t like the fact that they were semi-exposed to the sky.
and you can finally see how this original structure will be transformed into a structurally and ascetically pleasing building.
As the old volunteer dorm is slowly swallowed up!
The old roof will be removed piece by piece and any usable pieces of old roof and timber salvaged for another project. Looking from the other side of the building – the new brick area is a bedroom.
Looking on the inside, cement will be put over the brick and ceilings added.
and lots more ceiling renovation on all of the ‘old’ rooms.
The new kitchen and bedroom were next.
We have purchased a refrigerator and stove with Wat Opot’s first OVEN (which Wayne and some volunteers have already put to use making cupcakes, cinnamon rolls and a pumpkin pie) and are now in the process of designing the cabinetry and will have to purchase a large table and chairs.
It is still a work in progress finishing up with paint and the completion of the kitchen but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel!
Thank you DACF for allowing the transformation of the Girls Dorm into a multi-functional home!