Monday, August 2, 2010

Two Schools Rebuilt at Kibbutz Yad Mordechai

Kibbutz Yad Mordechai is the home of two Hof Ashkelon regional schools:

Hofim, one of three elementary schools in the Hof Ashkelon region
Shikma, the regional secondary school (7th to 12th grade).

Since the kibbutz is less than two miles from the Gaza Strip, the school needs to be fortified to protect the children in case of any missile attack.  The new Iron Dome system is supposed to work, but it will only be affective four miles or more from the Gaza Strip. 

Therefore, the school needs buildings that are built to withstand a direct missile hit, from a Qassam, Grad, or whatever. 

A year or two ago, "portable" classrooms were brought in that had been in the Gaza Strip and were used for many of the students at Shikma.  However, they did not have bathrooms, and students had to go outside to get to the bathrooms.  They also were small, and could not easily hold up to 30 students.  Most of the two schools, however, had not been built to sustain such attacks.  Therefore, the government is in the process of building new schools.


Shikma is 2/3rds finished with four of the six modules ready to use.

2 of the new buildings at Shikma

The empty space is where the English teachers had their own room,
a thing of the past and new module in background
The contractor for the secondary school uses construction crew mostly from China.  In the US construction work pays quite well, but not so in Israel.  However, Chinese and Romanians are delighted to work in construction.
Contruction Workers from China

The building above was the "new" Shikma library two or three years ago.  It will be torn down after it is replaced by a more secure building

Hofim is going to be adjacent to Shikma, with a wall or fence separating the students from the two schools.  It, hopefully, will be finished during the school year.  The contractor for Hofim employs mostly Israeli Arab or Palestinian workers.

Also, each home on Yad Mordechai has to have a "secure" room with extra thick walls and roofs.  Many people have been remodeling/expanding their homes to up to 130 square meters (1400 sq. feet), so in the process have added a secure room. Others have had secure rooms built on by the government.

Safe room on the right
Security room attached to a home
Right now the yards in a good part of the kibbutz are in disarray from the construction but they will soon be restored to their normal beauty.

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