Haitian school planned in memory of N.B. Mountie
Designs have been finalized for a vocational school to be built in Haiti in memory of an RCMP officer who died in the January earthquake that devastated the country.
The Sgt. Mark Gallagher Memorial Vocational School in Haiti may not be a structure just yet but the plans for it are now on paper.
Reg Sorel is a director of a Quebec-based non-governmental organization that has partnered with the Friends of Mark Gallagher to build the vocational school in Riviere-Froide.
Sorel leaves Tuesday for his third trip to Haiti this year.
"And whilst I'm there, I'll be going to Riviere-Froide and this time we have the plans for the school, or the plans were made and the cost, etc. by a Haitian firm of architects and engineers," Sorel said.
"So I'll be going there to meet the architects, to meet with the engineers and go over the plans."
The Friends of Mark Gallagher group will be holding a gala event in Woodstock on Nov. 6 to raise funds for the school.
Gallagher, 50, spent many years as a police officer, coach and mentor to young people in Moncton and other parts of the province.
He worked as an RCMP spokesperson in New Brunswick and, more recently, in Halifax before heading to Haiti in July 2009.
So far the Friends of Mark Gallagher organization has raised $160,000 towards the new school in Haiti in Gallagher's memory.
Gallagher was in Haiti on behalf of the United Nations helping to train police officers when the Jan. 12 earthquake hit.
Richard Blaquiere, a co-chair of the Friends of Make Gallagher, said the group originally thought the school project would cost $12,000. The estimate to build the school has since risen to $800,000.
Sorel said the organizations hope to take advantage of a program offered by the federal government where they will match funds raised.
"We're hoping to get ... most of the money from [Canadian International Development Agency] for the building for the school but then comes the equipping of the school, etc.," Sorel said.