The 15 year old Conservatory buildings being demolished as part of the campus renewal plan.
Entering into a new year, students, administrators, and staff can expect a number of structural changes in both the DLSU Taft and Science and Technology Center (STC) campuses in the next and succeeding terms.
In the main campus, the Pearl of Great Price (PGP) Chapel will be reconstructed in the area currently occupied by the Ariston Estrada seminar room complex in St. La Salle (LS) Hall, to house a greater attendance for the daily Masses and the Sunday Eucharistic celebrations which are open to the public.
Br. Michael Broughton, FSC, Vice Chancellor for Lasallian Mission (VCLM) and project head for the relocation of the chapel tells that the new PGP will be roughly three times larger than its current size, but not yet as large as the Most Blessed Sacrament (MBS) Chapel. “Just as PGP is too small for our present needs, the MBS chapel is too large.” He adds that the services at PGP cannot be transferred to the MBS because of the higher operating costs of the MBS, as well as it being too far for many Mass attendees due to its location.
Apart from the need for a bigger worship area, he explains that the transfer is also to avoid the flooding that occurs whenever there are heavy rains or strong typhoons.
Broughton also says that the presence of the seminar rooms have become “redundant” due to the new facilities available at the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall. The construction is expected to begin in February 2014 while the completion and full transfer is set for June or July of next year. No decision has been made yet regarding what will be constructed in place of the current PGP.
“Br Ricky hasn’t pronounced on [future activities] yet but LSPO and I were thinking of a multi-purpose hall for Catholic society activities, but [this is] open to other [types of activities] upon request,” Broughton says.
Meanwhile, the North and South Conservatories in St. La Salle Hall will be closed and demolished by January 2014, as soon as the repacking operations of De La Salle Philippines (DLSP) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have finished.
The conservatories, which were inaugurated in 1998, will be removed to give way for more open space in the highly congested Manila campus. According to a bulletin from the Office of the President and Chancellor posted on the help desk on December 2, 2013, this move is “in consideration of the new, state of the art learning and multipurpose areas made available to the community by the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall.”
Overseeing the project is Engr. Ronaldo Gallardo, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management (AVPFM). He tells, “The open area will just have a little landscaping and will be restored to its original state before the conservatories were built.”
Gallardo is also spearheading the team in charge of the design and construction of the soon to rise DLSU Bonifacio Global City (BGC) building, which will house the College of Law (COL) and other continuing education programs by AY 2015-2016. According to the administration, construction is expected to begin in March 2014. However, Gallardo explains that at the moment, plans have yet to be finalized by the engineers and architects who are developing the design, and that these would be available early next year.
In addition to these, multiple projects are also set to take place in the coming term in the Science and Technology Center (STC) in Biñan. This includes the construction of two new research buildings, continued renovation of the main Milagros Del Rosario College Building, and the development of multiple sports facilities in STC.
University President and Chancellor Br. Ricky Laguda, FSC tells that all structural changes applied in the University are pursuant to a Campus Master Plan that was completed in AY 2009-10, while the current boom of constructions in STC are based on a Preliminary Campus Master Plan for STC which was completed in June of this year.
He explains, “In the DLSU Master Plan, some structures need to be retired sooner than others based on several factors like utilization, functionality, efficiency among many other considerations. Some structures need structural changes, retrofitting and re-furbishing depending on current and future needs.”
Since the Campus Master Plans were completed, the Campus Renewal Committee headed by Edwin Santiago, Vice President for Administration, has been tasked with reviewing the plans on a yearly basis and revising as deemed fit.
The old facade of De La Salle, prior to the construction of the Conservatories, had a driveway and gardens. Scanned photo from Stephen John Pamorada