Julian Blanco School Project

In Projectsby Brother's Brother Foundation


Luis Garraton is one of BBF’s primary partners in Puerto Rico. We were initially put in contact with them six weeks after Hurricane Maria, and since then they have been assisting with both high-level recommendations for support and with detailed logistics work on the island. They were the group that introduced BBF to the school reconstruction efforts, and we have had several in-person meetings with their team to discuss paths forward in Puerto Rico. In the past they have also contributed funds towards several of BBF’s projects.

The Julian Blanco School is a public school that specializes in dance as an academic focus in addition to regular coursework. While the school itself is still functional, there are numerous construction issues affecting student safety. The floorboards in the dance studio are warped and uneven due to water damage from the hurricane. Stairs have no railings, and poor electric wiring is a fire hazard. OMEP, or Office for the Betterment of Public Schools, is a local government department that will be funding general repairs, reconstruction, and welding, and BBF and Luis Garraton are to sponsor electrical rewiring, installation and repair of air conditioning units, and pest control.
Proposal: Fund reconstruction costs for Escuela Margarita Rivera, a special education school in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.

Request Amount: $45,000. BBF staff suggests funding $30,000 of this amount.

Background: During the January visit of Luke Hingson, Phil Jones, and Ron Alvarado to Puerto Rico, Drogueria Betances - one of BBF’s partners – conducted a tour of Escuela Margarita Rivera in the township of Gurabo. Following the site visit, Drogueria Betances sent a request to BBF for funding for the school.

BBF has previously funded the reconstruction efforts of two other schools in Puerto Rico – Agustin Stahl High School and Republica de Costa Rica Vocational School. BBF selected these previous schools through local partnerships with Luis Garraton and Drogueria Betances.

Escuela Margarita Rivera was hit hard by Hurricane Maria in 2017. The buildings were heavily affected by damage, and as a result the classroom experience of children has been affected.

The school has a focus on special needs children. In addition, many of the students enrolled are affected by poverty - last year the school enrolled 397 students, 87% of whom were eligible for free or reduced lunch.

All previous Puerto Rican schools funded by BBF have been completing their reconstruction work on schedule.

BBF Cost: The school has requested $60,714 total. Of this amount, Raul Rodriguez, the head of both Luis Garraton and Drogueria Betances, has offered to pay $15,000. BBF staff recommends paying $30,000 of the remaining $45,714. The funds would be used to fix the air conditioning units, to rebuild roofing, installation of a specialized playground, building of an indoor play area, and handy man services. Everything other than the indoor play area would be bought in Puerto Rico, which means the funds would further go towards boosting the local economy. The quote was received on February 19th (See attached budget here.)

Funding the school would bring BBF’s total hurricane money for 2017 to approximately $180,000.

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Electrical Wiring Requiring Repair

Proposal: Fund reconstruction costs for Escuela Margarita Rivera, a special education school in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.

Request Amount: $45,000. BBF staff suggests funding $30,000 of this amount.

Background: During the January visit of Luke Hingson, Phil Jones, and Ron Alvarado to Puerto Rico, Drogueria Betances - one of BBF’s partners – conducted a tour of Escuela Margarita Rivera in the township of Gurabo. Following the site visit, Drogueria Betances sent a request to BBF for funding for the school.

BBF has previously funded the reconstruction efforts of two other schools in Puerto Rico – Agustin Stahl High School and Republica de Costa Rica Vocational School. BBF selected these previous schools through local partnerships with Luis Garraton and Drogueria Betances.

Escuela Margarita Rivera was hit hard by Hurricane Maria in 2017. The buildings were heavily affected by damage, and as a result the classroom experience of children has been affected.

The school has a focus on special needs children. In addition, many of the students enrolled are affected by poverty - last year the school enrolled 397 students, 87% of whom were eligible for free or reduced lunch.

All previous Puerto Rican schools funded by BBF have been completing their reconstruction work on schedule.

BBF Cost: The school has requested $60,714 total. Of this amount, Raul Rodriguez, the head of both Luis Garraton and Drogueria Betances, has offered to pay $15,000. BBF staff recommends paying $30,000 of the remaining $45,714. The funds would be used to fix the air conditioning units, to rebuild roofing, installation of a specialized playground, building of an indoor play area, and handy man services. Everything other than the indoor play area would be bought in Puerto Rico, which means the funds would further go towards boosting the local economy. The quote was received on February 19th (See attached budget here.)

Funding the school would bring BBF’s total hurricane money for 2017 to approximately $180,000.
Luis Garraton is one of BBF’s primary partners in Puerto Rico. We were initially put in contact with them six weeks after Hurricane Maria, and since then they have been assisting with both high-level recommendations for support and with detailed logistics work on the island. They were the group that introduced BBF to the school reconstruction efforts, and we have had several in-person meetings with their team to discuss paths forward in Puerto Rico. In the past they have also contributed funds towards several of BBF’s projects.

The Julian Blanco School is a public school that specializes in dance as an academic focus in addition to regular coursework. While the school itself is still functional, there are numerous construction issues affecting student safety. The floorboards in the dance studio are warped and uneven due to water damage from the hurricane. Stairs have no railings, and poor electric wiring is a fire hazard. OMEP, or Office for the Betterment of Public Schools, is a local government department that will be funding general repairs, reconstruction, and welding, and BBF and Luis Garraton are to sponsor electrical rewiring, installation and repair of air conditioning units, and pest control.

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Current Ceiling Situation
Electrical Wiring Requiring Repair

Current Sidewalk Situation