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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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BUILD is breaking ground for an updated home

BUILD is celebrating the breaking ground of a permanent structure on April 27, allowing volunteers to work indoors year-round.
Photo Courtesy of TAMU Build

Students have come together to build clinics out of shipping containers to provide increased healthcare worldwide — a reflection of the Aggie spirit. The student organization BUILD’s mission is to unite the student body through a large-scale service project in the fall semester. BUILD has mobilized five clinics this spring to countries like Nigeria and Ukraine. 

BUILD has over 5,000 volunteers, but its outdated work site is becoming increasingly difficult to manage. Volunteers have to walk to the general services complex to wash paint brushes and use the bathroom, cutting work days short. When volunteers work during the night, they put up temporary lights to continue construction. These issues, including the lack of a place for volunteers to cool off, were considered as the organization was planning for a permanent structure. Construction is expected to begin May 1. 

Civil engineering senior Lauryn Kastenschmidt organizes and manages an executive team of members for BUILD as the Chief Executive Officer. 

“This permanent structure is something that BUILD students have been talking about … one of the first things you realize when you come to volunteer for us is that it’s really hot, especially during the day with the sun beating down on you,” Kastenschmidt said. 

The groundbreaking ceremony, which will take place on Saturday, April 27, will feature speeches from members and donors highlighting the organization’s history. There will also be a ceremonial dig with shovels to symbolize the start of the permanent location’s construction. 

“Another exciting thing is that we got our final plans in renderings from our architects, so this will be kind of the first time that it will be out there, and we get to see what the finished product will look like,” Kastenschmidt said. “I love it a lot because I am a civil engineering major, so looking over the plans … is really great first-hand experience on project management, how to read plans and how they design the foundation.” 

The organization keeps in touch with its clinics to celebrate the project’s wide-scale impact. It has completed over 47 clinics shipped to over 22 countries.

“We just celebrated our 10th anniversary last year, and it’s mind-boggling what we have been able to do within the past 10 years … the sheer amount we have produced is just amazing,” Kastenschmidt said.

Biomedical sciences junior Ian Wiechers has been overseeing the operations of five teams to manage the project as the Chief Operating Officer.

“I think BUILD has different levels of impact,” Wiechers said. “You have the global impact of these clinics going overseas to Africa, Europe, Asia and South America, and some are staying here in Texas, making an impact on the ground for places that don’t have the infrastructure but also by uniting the student body.” 

The permanent structure will be the organization’s official presence on campus. 

“We’re going to have a covered work area with some fans that provide shade and cooling, and then we’ll have a small building under that structure that will have two handicap-accessible bathrooms as well as a check-in room to make the experience for volunteers that come a little bit faster and smoother,” Kastenschmidt said. “Now we can work year-round instead of just 10 weeks in the fall.” 

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About the Contributor
Mikayla Martinez, News Writer
Mikayla Martinez is a Junior journalism major from Austin, Texas.
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