FRIENDS' Dorian Recovery Continues
As FRIENDS works to raise funds for the construction of a new Learning Center, we are also moving forward with restoration efforts on campus. Unlike our office building which fell to Hurricane Dorian, the Frank Kenyon Centre (FKC) is still standing and functioning as a base for FRIENDS, an office space for IDEA Relief, and accommodations for visiting research scientists, NGOs, and other community volunteers. To ensure the preservation and quality of the FKC, repairs and maintenance is ongoing.
The solar shed was the first area of concern to be addressed due to a gaping hole in the roof of one of the shed rooms. Roof repairs are now complete and we are in the process of reinforcing and insulating a room to house new batteries for our solar array. Fortunately, the solar array and batteries were functioning to some degree after Dorian and were able to support much needed relief efforts at a time when public power supply was not available.
In 2020, funding from the UNDP GEF SGP aided in the repair and replacement of key parts of the solar PV system. However, since then, and as a result of Dorian-related impacts, our lead-acid batteries have given out. As part of rebuilding the FRIENDS facility back better than ever, we have decided to upgrade to lithium batteries for their environmentally-friendly and long term benefits. Lithium batteries have a lifespan of 10+ years, have no gas emissions, and require less amount of batteries for our size solar array. We look forward to once again powering FKC on renewable energy when the new batteries arrive!
Minor repairs to the deck and roof of FKC are ongoing. The interior has received a fresh coat of paint, so it is nice, bright and clean for all of our visitors. FRIENDS is also partnering with Water Mission to install a water catchment system at FKC, which started this month. This has always been a goal of ours since we opened the Kenyon Centre in 2015 as we continue to promote aspects of sustainable development in our facility. The importance of a potable (and redundant) water supply became acutely evident after Hurricane Dorian.
These small repairs and improvements are helping us meet our goal of being a fully functioning and sustainable facility.
Thank you to all who support this work. Your investment means a lot, as FRIENDS' Campus has an important role to play in Abaco's future. We look forward to seeing all of you and giving fun tours of our facilities!