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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 sends off mobile medical units

Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION
BUILD has worked for the last eight weeks to build units that will be sent to impoverished countries. Members help guide the units onto a truck Monday evening.
Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION BUILD has worked for the last eight weeks to build units that will be sent to impoverished countries. Members help guide the units onto a truck Monday evening.

Members of BUILD staff were in good spirits Monday as they watched their four mobile medical units carried away on 18-wheelers to be taken to Houston, where they will remain until shipped overseas.
BUILD, a student-run organization that conducts on-campus construction projects, has worked for the last eight weeks to build four mobile medical units to be shipped to impoverished areas with limited accessibility to hospitals. The units are insulated and include a procedure room and places for medical examinations.
Chief executive officer Drew Allen said each of the four pods was named after Bonfire victims, but the names will not be announced until later.
“Out of respect for the families we’re not going to announce the actual names of the pods until later,” Allen said.
Luke Strother, petroleum engineering senior and chief of operations, said each pod has a plaque on the inside that dedicates it to the Bonfire victim it’s named after.
Strother said four pods will be sent to Haiti, Honduras, Bolivia and Colombia, and a fifth filled with supplies will be placed at Riverside campus to be used for future BUILD projects.
“We decided to put it at Riverside because it’s a safe place and won’t cost us anything,” Strother said. “It will sit there with a bunch of Big Event stuff until next year when the next BUILD staff starts their project and needs it.”
Strother said the current staff hopes to have twelve medical units built next year rather than four.
“It would be ideal, obviously, to be able to build that many,” Strother said. “But that’s really up to the next wave of executives and the resources they have.”
Strother said getting the pods to Houston didn’t cost the organization any money due to the amount of volunteers and sponsors they have.
“All the 18-wheelers, even the forklift guy, are all volunteers,” Strother said. “So we didn’t have to pay a dime for this.”
The pods will remain in Houston until Jan. 1, when organizations from the four countries will arrange to have them shipped overseas to their respective locations.
Marshall Grey, mechanical engineering junior and member of the operations and logistics team, said they still have a few minor things to do to the pods while they are in Houston.
“We will make one trip down to Houston to do some last-minute finishing touches,” Grey said. “I know we still have some plumbing to put in, and we need to put in furniture and put some more stickers on the sides of the pods for our sponsors.”
Strother said while the first time conducting this project was successful, BUILD staff members next year will make the process run more smoothly.
“Ideally everything would’ve been completed and we wouldn’t have to go down to Houston,” Strother said. “But next year’s staff will smooth that kind of stuff out and plan a little more.”
Strother said the last step in the process is to clean up the site on campus where the pods were located.
“Now it’s just a matter of getting things cleaned up and getting out of the way,” Strother said. “We need to get some of the paint up off the concrete and clean up some trash, then we’ll be done with this project.”

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