To improve Silliman University (SU), buildings around the campus are under renovation and construction under the leadership of Buildings and Grounds (BG).
The renovated and constructed buildings are Mariano Lao Activity Center, Nutrition and Dietetics (ND) container van classrooms, SU Hall, Portal East, and the Business and Finance Office.
BG Superintendent Engr. Edgar Ygnalaga said that the Business Office is now being renovated to a design that will accommodate parents and students who will process their financial accounts inside the building.
“It will now look as if you are inside a bank,” added Ygnalaga.
Guy Hall will also be renovated to a conference center with classrooms in preparation for K-12.
Ygnalaga added that they will renovate only the interior of Guy Hall, because it was declared as a historical building.
The Business and Finance Office renovations are targeted to be finished by the end of the second semester, while Guy Hall will be finished before the start of the next school year.
Meanwhile, Ygnalaga assured that the classrooms made out of container vans or the second floor extension at the ND Department is “safe for any calamity.”
The extension started its construction last April 2013 and was finished last 2014.
Ygnalaga said that before the building started, it all first underwent a structural analysis to ensure its durability. He added that the design was done in 2007 and the second floor is lighter compared to concrete because the walls of the classrooms are metal.
“They added additional reinforcement beams to prevent the floor from moving, however during earthquakes, the floor of the classrooms will move but will not crack,” Ygnalaga said.
The Class B container vans or container vans with minor damages were purchased from Manila from different companies. The first batch came in 2009 and another batch in 2013.
To make three classrooms that could accommodate a class size of 45-50 students, 11 container vans were used to build the second floor.
About five 20-footer and five 40-footer container vans remain. These other container vans left in the university are used to store the materials of the SU Cooperative, relief goods and folding beds, and materials used by the SU Buildings and Grounds.
Ygnalaga said that there are still future plans of making new classrooms made out of container vans. However, the dates are still uncertain because of the K-12 Program.
He said that the idea of making classrooms out of container vans was from SU President Ben S. Malayang III to repurpose the vans instead of going to waste.
“The building of the classrooms is not cheaper…because the transport of materials is costly. However, time in accomplishing the building was fast and the university [did] not wait for long to offer the students new calamity-resilient classrooms,” Ygnalaga said.
The building of SU Public Assistance and Security Office, behind the Information Booth of the SU Campus Ambassadors, is also made out of container vans.
BG also replaced the Amphitheater lamps to LED lights because these only consume 24 watts, unlike the lamps which consumed 70 watts.
“Makatipid ta, so pwede nata mopasiga from 7-10 p.m. kay wala naman nagpasiga ug sodium tungod nga mas mahal siya,” said Ygnalaga. (We can save electricity, so we can light it up from 7-10 p.m. because we did not light up the sodium lamps because it is more expensive.)
Ygnalaga added that the sodium lamps will only be used during university activities.
7-Eleven, a convenience store, is being constructed near Edith Carson Hall (ECH).
Like Jollibee North Road and BDO, 7-Eleven is under the built, operate, and transfer scheme which will be owned by the university after some years, depending on the contract. After the contract, the establishments will be renting the land and the building.
Samantha Salva, an ECH dormer, said that it is good that the open space will be occupied.
“If mahuman na ang 7-Eleven, di na kaayo ngit-ngit and kuyaw at night,” said Salva. (After the construction of 7-Eleven, the space will no longer be dark and creepy.)
However, Gerise Regalado, a West wing ECH dormer, said that she is concerned with the noise 7-Eleven will produce once it starts operating.
“It might disturb dormers who are studying inside the West wing rooms. 7-Eleven is just at the back of West wing. It’s that close,” Regalado said.
By Paulynne Joyce R. dela Cruz and Rhobie A. Ruaya