By under Headlines, University.

The football field is now off-limits.

Preparations for the construction of the Henry Sy Sr. Hall, more commonly known as the Centennial Building, formally started, Dec. 2.

The wall between North and Velasco Gate was demolished to allow easy transport of construction materials and heavy equipment; excavation has also started to lay the temporary foundation of the building. The football field walkway and the Sports Plaza were also closed to create boundaries for the construction site.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Development Engr. Aurellano de la Cruz Jr. informs that the Henry Sy Sr. Hall will be the only DLSU building accessible to the public. Offices that accommodate outsiders such as the Admissions Office and the Office of the University Registrar are proposed to transfer to the new building.

He explains that it will be more convenient for the security personnel to guard their posts if all visitors are in one building. However, security passes and entry permits will still be required from the visitors.

`               The building will also house the “Learning Commons,” a place where students can meet, study and hold official activities. It is will house books and reference materials that are meant to contribute to the holistic education of Lasallians. Other administrative offices will also be relocated at the Centennial Building.

May matitira diyan mga one-fourth  na field pa rin at pagka natapos iyan, ang ground floor niyan, parang Yuchengco, mataas siya so tagusan siya. Puwede pa rin puntahan, may mga activities [Around one-fourth of the actual size of the field will remain. The lobby of the new building will be similar to the Yuchengco building. People can still pass by the lobby and hold activities there],” de la Cruz furthers.

Other features of the hall are open-air study areas and escalators that will help manage the human traffic in the building.

The construction of the Centennial Building will begin next month and will be finished by Dec. 2012, approximately the same amount of time it took to construct the Br. Andrew Gonzalez Hall.

The exterior design of the building is patterned after a “habitable tree” because of its form and location. “If one looks at the whole building design, it’s similar to a “tree” standing between two historical buildings (St. La Salle Hall and Velasco Hall),” DLSU Chancellor Br. Ricky Laguda FSC explains.

“The general idea is to make use of available spaces to ensure a learning environment that is sustainable,” Br. Ricky furthers. During the Centennial Renewal Plan (CRP) meeting last July, it was revealed that green technology and environment-friendly raw materials will be used in the construction. The use of solar panels to generate the building’s energy requirement was also proposed.

Br. Laguda also mentions that the cost of the new building is yet to be finalized due to the lack of detailed architectural plans. He cautions that the original design and floor plan of the building may still change significantly. De la Cruz also informs that the initial plan was for the building to have 15 floors, but is subject to change because of budget constraints.

Noise from the use of heavy equipment is also a problem the administration cannot avoid. Engr. Rolando Oliva, director of the Civil Works Office, explains that even before the construction process can begin, his office made sure that all requirements needed to secure a construction permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) were met.

Oliva also shares that noise-creating equipment such as pile drivers will not be used in the construction; drillers and other tools that produce minimal noise will be utilized. He adds that the logistics of the construction has already gone through and passed the “Environmental Impact Assessment,” which studies the amount of pollution that will be caused by the project.

The Security and Safety Office (SSO) also informs that security around the construction area is tighter. Two guards are always on post to guard the open area especially at night. Cars are also prohibited from parking and unloading passengers along the portion adjacent to the construction site.

The Henry Sy Sr. Hall is the centerpiece of the Centennial Renewal Plan, a long-term project that will construct or renovate the different academic facilities in campus. It is named after the famous Chinese-Filipino tycoon, the main benefactor of the building.

The University underwent bidding process to determine which firm will spearhead the design and construction of the new building. The architectural firm L.V. Locsin and Partners won the bidding.