Community Support Public Interest Design for

Masterplanning for K-12 SDA School

The Seventh Day Adventist School in Majuro has two campuses, the larger in Delap and the smaller in Laura. The school building in Laura is a decent structure however it has a number of challenges. For one it is small for the number of students so classrooms are shared between grades.

There is a lack of light and airflow. Mold and high temperatures in the school are common. The SDA School has a desire to rebuild the current school taking advantage of the unique geography the school is currently on. The location is directly in the middle of Laura which is the widest piece of land on Majuro.

The vision for the future SDA school is to become a catalyst for strengthening the community and to become a model project (both in the process and in construction) for other works in the region.

As its most basic, the project will provide additional classroom space for a K-12 school, with a focus on community, health, and sustainable agriculture. But, it also aims to reclaim the site (which currently is isolated from the community and surrounded by dense vegetation (mosquito breeding ground) and reconnect it to the community by introducing a new path, that also ties into the site’s future life as a disaster shelter for the entire atoll.

This Living Islands project is particularly exciting because the research and application of design and technology will be valued not only across the Marshall Islands but to other low lying geographies facing the same challenges.


Matt Bunza and his team at Metaamo have driven this project along with the coordination and help from Chuck Genuardi.

Matt has traveled to the SDA School in Laura twice in the past couple years and has gathered critical information on the property and the scope of the project. Currently, leases are being secured
so that green light can be obtained to move ahead with the project. Matt’s extensive international network has brought a wealth of ideas to this project.

The SDA staff is well aware and grateful for the time and attention this Living Islands project has provided them.

Recently the Red Cross named the School as the emergency shelter for the island because of the distance from the Ocean and Lagoon.

Masterplanning is currently underway, and a meeting in Spring / Summer 2019 will be held to continue the collaborative work.


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