Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 prepare to install rafters on the Walung Health Clinic project in Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia, May 24. Photo by Utilitiesman Constructionman Matthew Konopka
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Seabees Build Relationships in Micronesia with a School Renovation

Story by BU3 Alexa Trafton

KOSRAE, Micronesia – Deployed Seabees renovate an eight room school that has been in a dilapidated condition and condemned on the island of Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia, June 29.

In February, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 began renovation of the facility that was condemned in 2016 because of a collapsing roof. Upon completion, the renovation will allow 210 students to return to a more conducive learning environment while reducing overcrowding in another school on the island.

Construction Electrician 3rd Class Edwardo Blanco, from Atlanta, Georgia marks where trusses of the Elementary school need to be cut to renovate the ceiling on the elementary school project, March 29. Photo by Utilitiesman Constructionman Matthew Konopka.

“Building the school is very important to this community,” said Builder 2nd Class Lecreia Hudson, from Gary, Indiana. “The kids are right next door in an overcrowded school, and this school will create a larger, safer and cleaner environment that lets the students focus on learning.”

Hudson is the crew leader of four Sailors and two local construction apprentices during the project. The renovation consists of framing walls, placing a new sidewalk, constructing two rain water catchment systems, extending a concrete pad, and installing new windows, doors, electrical, flooring, roof and gutters.

“The Sailors of NMCB 1 could not be more proud of working to help the people of Kosrae and their children by building a school in one of the most remote locations in the world,” said Officer in Charge Lt. Michael Yeary, from Cumming, Georgia. “The locals just don’t have a lot, and being able to share the goodwill of the U.S. helps not only our national partnership but truly impacts these children’s lives and futures. I could not be more proud of what the crew has done.”

Builder 2nd Class Desirae Cleary, from Modesto, California, and local construction apprentice measure cement boards for the elementary school project, May 26. Photo by Utilitiesman Constructionman Matthew Konopka.

NMCB 1 provides combat-ready engineer forces in response to Combatant Commander and Naval Component Commander requirements and provides planning and operational support for Seabee employment. The continued operations in the Pacific Command help demonstrate the U.S. commitment to developing enduring relationships, and strengthening local institutions and communities throughout the region.

Construction Electrician 3rd Class Eduardo Blanco, from Atlanta, Georgia, nails in formwork for the elementary school, May 11. Photo by Utilitiesman Constructionman Matthew Konopka

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