School No. 5 of Echmiadzin
Schools and Colleges
Echmiadzin (City of Vagharshapat), Armavir Region, Armenia
Armenia Fund US Western Region / Mr. and Mrs. Berj and Belet Shahbazian
Echmiadzin is steeped in history and culture. One of the historic capitals of Armenia, it is the main religious center of the Armenian people, as it’s home to the Echmiadzin Cathedral, one of the world’s oldest churchs; the landmark Gevorkian Seminary that includes the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Manuscript Library; and several ancient churches such as Zvartnots, Saint Gayane, and Saint Hripsime.
Echmiadzin’s Secondary School No. 5, built in 1970, had fallen into severe disrepair. Broken windows, crumbling floors and decaying walls, nonfunctioning restrooms, corroded pipes, and asbestos roofing were just some of the elements that contributed to the terrible condition of the campus. It came as no surprise that whereas the school was originally built to accommodate 970 students, its student body had decreased to a scant 380 by 2005.
Armenia Fund launched a major renovation and reconstruction project in 2005, encompassing the school’s main building as well as adjacent auditorium and gymnasium. The project, implemented in two stages, was sponsored by Armenia Fund US Western Region, with a major donation from Mr. and Mrs. Berj and Belet Shahbazian of Los Angeles. Armenia Fund replastered and painted all interior spaces; replaced all doors, windows, and flooring; replaced the asbestos roofing with metal roofs; rebuilt the restrooms; installed new plumbing, sewage, and electrical systems; installed metal doors at the central entrance; and installed a new boiler, a gas main, and a new heating system, with heaters in every room.
Thanks to the large-scale renovation project, the school was transformed from a shockingly run-down set of building into a clean, eminently comfortable, and state-of-the-art campus. Since the completion of the project, the school has once again shined as a wonderful educational institution in a city renowned for its educational excellence, operating at the full capacity it was originally intended to.
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