With the opening of the academic year, Lasallians are greeted by a wave of new facades resulting from the recently concluded and others still ongoing constructions around campus.
After Zaide and Animo Food Haus pulled out of DLSU, students were left with no canteen in the main campus during the summer term and second half of the third term of last academic year. Sophomore Jay Austria (ECM-MGT) laments, “I chose a schedule wherein I could just grab a quick bite for lunch at Animo Foodhaus before running off to my ECONTWO class last term… when Foodhaus left, I couldn’t grab that quick lunch anymore.”
The space previously occupied by Animo Food Haus underwent renovation over the summer and the new canteen concessionaire Perico’s made its debut last May 23, in time for the opening of classes.
The Student Activities Center which is being constructed in the space formerly occupied by Zaide canteen in the Br. Bloemen Hall, is also expected to open this June. This will house not only food concessionaires but also an art gallery, a green screen, and a small performance area open for use to the students. The center will also accommodate student-owned stalls. However, USG Vice President for Internal Affairs Carlo Inocencio shares that the selection process for student entrepreneurs to man these stalls has not yet been finalized.
As early as December of 2012, several offices have transferred to the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall even before its formal opening in January. As a result of the transfer, the second and third floors of Yuchengco building have been left vacant, as well as some rooms in St. La Salle Hall. These spaces will be converted into more classrooms; however, The LaSallian has received no word as to when these will be operational.
Spaces in William Hall which previously housed the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) faculties and departments are also undergoing renovations, and the offices can be temporarily located in the North and South Conservatories in St. La Salle Hall. The old DLSU library and some spaces in St. Joseph Hall are also being renovated. When completed, COS offices will move to William Hall, and CLA offices will be housed in the old library. The College of Business (COB) offices currently located in St. La Salle Hall will also be transferred to the old library.
This temporary placement of the offices proved to be a hindrance to many students. “[Professors] usually tell you where the temporary offices are,” Yang Sebastian (II, BSM-ADV) shares, “but [it can be a hassle] when it’s an emergency or something urgent and you don’t know where to go.”
The transfer of the offices to the new designations was scheduled for May of this year, according to the Campus Renewal Bulletin #3 released in December 2012. However, at the moment, renovations have not yet been completed. According to DLSU President Br. Ricky Laguda FSC, the full transfer and renovation can be expected by mid-July of this year at the latest, but that may happen sooner if renovations will continue to go smoothly.
Some of the rooms that will be left vacant in St. Joseph Hall will be converted into more science laboratories, while others will be retained as office spaces. Br. Ricky says, “All of these renovations are geared towards improving some of the space requirements needed of the University.”
Delays and Future Plans
The area behind the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall also serves as a driveway, but may only be used for emergency purposes and will not be open to the public.
Other developments currently in the planning stage are the transfer of the Pearl of Great Price Chapel to a spot closer to the North Gate for accessibility purposes and the conversion of more spaces into “active learning spaces” and research offices. If set into motion, the renovations will be finalized within the first term of this academic year.
The University has seen an average of one to two month delays in the completion of renovations and opening of new facilities in the past few years. “Weather is one factor,” Br. Ricky explains, “Rains will always delay whatever construction or renovation we will have.” The procurement of construction materials and furniture is another cause of delay. Also considered in the planning phase are the University’s expenses in DLSU-STC.
All developments in the University are part of the University’s Campus Renewal Plan, a project that aims to reconstruct and develop new facilities in order to create a sustainable environment conducive to learning and research, the cornerstones of which are the construction of the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall and renovations in the St. La Salle Hall. The project also aims to create a more unified placing of buildings, as the structures in DLSU were initially built at different periods.