Story by MC1 Brannon Deugan
NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain – Deployed Seabees construct a kindergarten facility on the island of Ebeye, Republic of the Marshall Islands, July 13.
Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 broke ground for the three classroom kindergarten facility in March to improve the island’s educational facilities.
“The project assists in building grass root relationships with the Marshallese people,” said Lt. j.g. Brent Frazer, Det. officer-in-charge. “It also provides better infrastructure through the use of the Seabees on the island of Ebeye. The schoolhouse will provide the teachers and children the abilities and facilities to further educate their community.”
The 19 member crew began the project with site excavation in preparation for the placement of walls and column footers. The crew then prefabricated, erected and stripped all the formwork for wall footers, column footers, columns, an overhead roof beam and three concrete pads.
The construction of the kindergarten for the Marshallese people aids in maintaining the mutual partnership between the U.S. and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
“Building the school building helps maintain relations with the Marshallese as well as show them gratitude for allowing us to continue using their islands,” said Builder Constructionman Emma McCarthy, from Springville, New York. “Not only are we building a school facility, but a future for the upcoming Marshallese generations.”
While the project allows NMCB 1 to provide an element to the community’s infrastructure, it also provides an opportunity to establish a foundation for junior Seabees to carry throughout the remainder of their career.
“Being able to work on this project and build this school facility for the Marshallese is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever been a part of,” said McCarthy. “Never would I have thought I’d be doing what I am today. For a first project, I’d have to say it’s an ideal one. I’ve learned that sometimes it may seem like everything that can go wrong will go wrong, but if there’s a will, then there’s a way to get the job done. Being on this project and working with such a great crew has made me a more confident builder and a more confident Seabee in general. I’m very lucky to have been surrounded by so much knowledge and great leadership.”