Groups building a vocational school in Haiti in memory of RCMP Sgt. Mark Gallagher say construction is just about ready to start despite several changes to the school.

Gallagher was killed when the apartment building he was in collapsed during the massive Haiti earthquake in January 2010.

Richard Blaquiere, the president and co-chairperson of the Friends of Mark Gallagher Committee, said the project has run into a series of roadblocks.


The site of the proposed Sgt. Mark Gallagher Vocational School. The site was home to a high school that was destroyed by the earthquake. (Submitted by Friends of Mark Gallagher)

The vocational school, which will be located about 20 kilometres outside of Port-au-Prince, was originally going to offer 15 courses.

But that has been scaled back. Now, Blaquiere said agriculture, masonry and other courses will be offered.

Organizers are about to begin another fundraising campaign to raise $200,000 to equip the school.

Blaquiere said it's been a long road getting the school project moving, but he said the challenges have not been unexpected.

"When you're trying to co-ordinate international humanitarian development project in the poorest country in the western hemisphere, to build a trade school on a mountain in an earthquake zone it is a recipe for complications," he said.

The earthquake-resistant school will admit 500 students to contribute to the reconstruction of the country and sustainable development of Haiti.

Blaquiere said the group is trying to use as many workers from Haiti as possible and purchase as many goods as possible in the small nation.


RCMP Sgt. Mark Gallagher died in the Haiti earthquake in January 2010. (CBC)

Blaquiere said he hopes the school will open by next October but a more realistic date is January 2014.

The project has been raising funds for more than a year.

The federal government has already set aside $789,134 for the school.

Those donations have helped get the project ready for construction.

"So now the ground is being cleared platforms are being moved in trees are being cut down you know I don't think any bricks have been laid yet but we're getting close to that point," he said.

Gallagher was in Haiti training new police officers as a part of a UN peacekeeping mission.