(JAN. 25)—Like a phoenix, UP Diliman’s Faculty Center (FC), is expected to rise again in 2020.
The FC was gutted by fire on Apr. 1, 2016.
At the groundbreaking ceremony held Jan. 25 at the FC grounds, UPD Chancellor Michael L. Tan announced that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will implement the new FC building’s construction with Nov. 24, 2020 as their target completion date.
Tan said “It’s not that far off and maybe it’s appropriate as well that it will be finished in 2020 because 2020 evokes the metaphor of perfect vision. The Faculty Center has always guided us in UP, not just Diliman but the whole of UP, for our visioning process.”
“Sa Chinese mythology, may phoenix. Ang phoenix ay galing sa abo. The phoenix rises from the ashes and the new FC would be a phoenix. It would be grander. It would be more splendid than the old FC but still carry its spirit forward,” he added.
Meanwhile, UP President Danilo L. Concepcion said “Sa tulong ng DPWH, ang Faculty Center ay muling magsisilbi bilang tagpuan ng mga makabago, malikhain at malayang ideya. Ibabalik natin ang lugar kung saan tampok ang mga talakayan at diskursong pang-akademiko. Wala po tayong conferencing facility sa Diliman kaya pinataasan na namin ito para iyung sumobrang floors sa dating FC ay magsisilbing Faculty Convention Center or university conferencing facility natin.”
“Ang pondong nakuha natin sa tulong ng ating mga alumni sa kongreso at sa senado, nandoon po iyung ina ni Sec. Villar, na isa sa pinakamabigat tumulong at dumiin sa mga hinihiling natin sa Senado. Kapag sinabi ko po kay Senadora Cynthia Villar, ‘Ma’am, tulungan mo ako dito,’ ay tiyak na talagang tutulong po talaga. P675 million po lahat ito. At sana ay matapos natin sa takdang panahon,” Concepcion added.
According to the proposed project description DPWH distributed, the P675 million budget allocated for the new FC will be used to construct the 9-story with roof deck Faculty Building; a 6-story with roof deck Parking building; a 1-story with viewing deck circular shaped Bulwagan (Hall) and an open ground level Amphitheater.
In addition, DPWH said the new FC building will house offices, conference rooms, meeting spaces, lecture and multipurpose halls, libraries, galleries, and recreational areas like a café, break rooms and lounges.
DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar said “On behalf of the DPWH, I’d like to reassure the students, the whole of the UP community, that the DPWH will ensure that the implementation of this project will be fast and efficient just like the people, the students and the faculty of UPD.”
A TVUP audio-visual presentation on the testimonies from the faculty about the old FC was shown during the program.
Furthermore, Concepcion and Villar signed the new FC building’s blueprints and were placed inside a time capsule containing memorabilia and a copy of the building design. Afterwards, the time capsule was buried in the construction site.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by the UP System officials, various academic units’ deans, faculty, staff and students, and the College of Arts and Letters Student Council.
Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs Rica D. Abad served as the master of ceremonies. —Text and images by Haidee C. Pineda