Humanitarian Projects Needing Volunteers

Entry DateJune 13, 2018

What is the name of the project?

K-12 School Community

Organization name

Peace Academy of the Sciences and Arts

What country is the project located?

United States


Primary contact

Noha Kolkailah


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US Phone Number

(805) 540-0340

Is the organization capable and agreeable to communicating several times per week during the design stage?

Yes, definitely!

Explain the humanitarian need for this project and how this project can meet the need.

We live in a globalized world, one that has grown to be interdependent. Solutions to our world problems require 1.) an understanding that our differences make us stronger 2.) cultural awareness and 3) thinking and acting beyond man-made borders. We owe our children an education that is relevant to the world in which they live and applicable to the world they will lead. We believe the solutions lie within our children's free minds to critically think, innovate, and love. Through engagement in local challenges from a young age, children learn how global issues impact their communities and are empowered to understand the complexities of humanity. Peace Academy aspires to provide students with opportunities to connect globally through humanitarian projects. We believe that education is more than learning math, history, science, and art, but rather, it is a tool through which we can make the world a better place. Learning how to use the tools is a mindset that begins to form at a very young age.

What is the mission statement of the organization you represent?

To inspire a deep understanding of self and others through a learning culture that celebrates creative innovation, enriched collaborative experiences, and connection through core human values.

A community of lifelong learners who become competent caretakers and peace leaders for our world.

What humanitarian category does the project best fit under?

school, community center

Describe the current budget situation. Is the land owned outright? What has been spent on the project and what is the estimated remaining costs? What is the strategy for attaining outstanding funds? Please provide as many specifics as possible.

We do not have any funds at this time. However, we are in the process of putting together a presentation for the donor(s) we have in mind. We imagine the presentation to include some preliminary architectural drawings to serve as a visual effect that compliments the articulation of our vision for the project. The architectural drawings would be a such a beautiful and necessary component for the presentation and any fundraising event.

This summer, we are piloting a Summer Enrichment program. The support and momentum behind our full-time school project is tremendous and we anticipate it to continue to grow. Families have been pushing for us to open a full-time school this fall (which we are not ready for) and anticipate that our project will go national. The family and community support will help us procure funds for the project. We are planning a fundraising event to take place in the fall.

Describe the land situation. Has land been procured? Has a site been selected? Was land donated from the local government? Is a deed in-hand? Is the organization currently looking for land?

The land is not yet been purchased. It is still for sale, approximately 348 acres off of Los Osos Valley Road. The address is 1990 Sycamore Drive, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405. Here is drone footage of part of the property:

The owner knows we are interested and waiting on a land permit process. Because the permit process is lengthy, we may commit to a pre-application meeting with multi-department County staff, from which we could get an initial approval for the project. If the initial approval is obtained, we would like to put an offer on the land, with the support of a donor or two.

What is typical price per square meter for construction in this region?

We are hoping to build green, eco-friendly, and sustainable buildings. I'm unsure what the costs would be, but could possibly give you a better answer once I do some research on this.

Is the organization capable of hosting (transportation, lodging, translation, safety, etc.) designer site visits? Design teams typically consist of 2-6 people and stay for 7 days.

Lodging, translation, safety, yes! Our designers could stay on site in one of the homes that already exist on site.

Would transportation entail cost of gas, air fair? If so, yes. If it entails to drive people to and from far away places on a daily basis, this would be much more challenging, but I'm sure we could figure out arrangements.

What are the specific program desires for the project. How many buildings, stories, and floor plan square meters? Provide a detailed list of rooms desired and their specific intent.

These details are still not flushed out, not necessarily categorized as separate buildings, and not set in stone. We are not professional project managers, planners, or designers. We are mostly a group of educators, and are willing to re-shuffle this list and dates based on professional advice or recommendations.

Phase 1: (2020-21)
• Farm Stand with Market
• Orchards, Vegetables, Fruits
• Build/Restore Barns on Land, maintain all agricultural structures residing on property
• Full-time school (2 classrooms)* for 25-40 children (4th, 5th, 6th). Student learning will center around how to take care of land, environment, and farm animals along with other science and humanities subjects.

Phase 2: (2021-23)
• Botanical Study and Exploration Center
• Natural History Museum, Earth over time and the Human Impact, World Updates on Natural Disasters- Ring of Fire, Volcanic Activity, and Earthquakes, etc.
• Interactive Science and Innovation Center
• Learning Resource Center
• Add to full-time school (2 classrooms)* for 25-40 children (7th, 8th, 9th)

Phase 3: (2023-2026)
• Recreation Center (athletics, sports, game room)
• Culture, Art, and Performance Center
• Add full-time school (3 classrooms)* for 25-40 children (10th, 11th, 12th)
• Academic, College, and Internship Counseling Center
• Natural, Ethnic, and Cultural Foods Cafe (made with food from farm)

Phase 4: (2026-2030) First Graduating Senior Class with High School Diploma and optional AA Degree
• Community Service, Humanitarian Relief, and Global Citizenship Conference Center
• Add full-time school (2 classrooms)* for 25-40 students (pre-K through 3rd grades)
• Retreat center, camp site/cabins for retreats and summer programs
• Space viewing center with telescopes
• School, local, and world news , journalism, and publishing center
• Interactive Maps and History Museum

Phase 5: (2030-2035)
• Food and dorm space to provide breakfast for boarding students
• Welcome and information center
• Tech Learning Hub and Research Center
• Wellness Center

*classrooms serve as meeting and learning spaces for core skills—but the land with its facilities is the ultimate classroom; it provides students the opportunities for real world experiences and internship opportunities that serve to cultivate their passions, creativity, and leadership roles for a better world.
Students from all walks of life and all cultures, religious, and ethnic backgrounds will feel a sense of belonging, purpose, and community. The rich and robust academic curriculum will not be one where students sit in desks all day, but rather one where students are empowered to go beyond the basics, by using what they learn to creatively innovate.

We are thinking no higher than 2 floors per building to preserve the natural feel and look of the land. We are also partnering with the Land Conservancy of SLO County.

Provide any additional information that should be considered.

We have many pictures of children from our Open House, but will not be receiving back parental consents to share these photos until July 9th. If you choose us, I can share more at that time. Also, we have a videographer who is volunteering his time to create a promotional video for the Peace Academy. Footage will be taken all summer, so it's likely to not be available until late August. Upon completion, I would love to share the video with you, as well.

Explain the desired timeline from the project. When do you hope to start and finish construction? Will construction occur in phases?

Yes, construction will occur in several phases. If we are able to purchase the land late this year (2018) or early next year (2019), then the application process will begin shortly after. We would like to begin construction within a year after purchase. This is a rough estimate, and would rely on on our ability to pay for and navigate the permit process efficiently and effectively. If we are able to accomplish this and begin construction by 2020, in our humble opinion that is only backed up by a best guess, the project would be complete around 2040.

There are already buildings on the property, so the actual school could potentially open upon purchase.

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