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A Look Back: Foundations for Senegal

The Foundations for Senegal (FFS) Design team met every Monday and Wednesday at 13:00 Pacific Time. It was a group of five college senior engineers who wanted to do something different than what the course offered. This project was approved as an eligible design project for the graduation course. The team began meeting several months before the course began.

FFS was an adopted project by the student organization of Developing Sustainable Communities (DSC). DSC provided access to additional resources and financial support when required.  DSC had many members from various academic areas. The team looked for non-engineers to participate as well, from all majors at Washington State University.  One student helped us by producing architectural drawing and renderings for the final product of the building.

The design team was later represented by Andrew Stephenson in Saint-Louis, Senegal for a project field visit 10-16 March 2017.  The team had to make many assumptions leading up to then, such as the soil properties, site location, material properties, and more.  While this was okay for the design at this stage, all this information had to be confirmed on-site before the final modifications to the design are made.  Activities involved the following:

  1. Visit property to measure dimensions, make approximate land survey.
  2. Perform soil testing on site to approximate bearing capacity.
  3. Meet material suppliers to inspect material properties: dimensions, weights, thus densities.
  4. Meet the city staff to find necessary work and building permits and regulations.
  5. Meet members of community concerning volunteering to construct building spring 2018
  6. Establish relationship with contractor and client on-site to continue progress on design and later fundraising.
  7. Gather more photos, videos and personal stories from children and parents in community.

The purpose of the trip was to achieve these seven goals and establish a better cultural understanding of community’s needs for the school and how to integrate the school with its surroundings.

Developing Sustainable Communities (Washington State University) made a generous donation in 2018
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