Technical considerations have forced the University to move the site of the Student Center to the area in front of the Central Library from the Cooperative building’s former location, as was originally planned.
According to Vice-Rector for Finance Fr. Melchor Saria, O.P., consultations with architect Adrian Chua revealed that drilling and ground work at the former Cooperative site would affect the foundation of the Main Building, a structure the University strives to preserve.
“We have to be careful with the Main Building because once we begin drilling, it can create vibration (which is) slightly strong (that could affect the main building),” Fr. Saria told the Varsitarian during the groundbreaking ceremonies last Feb. 24.
Fr. Rector Tamerlane Lana, O.P. said an amphitheater will be erected on the Cooperative building’s former area. It will be an extension of the student center.
“(The area) will be converted into an open theater where the students could gather together and where they could really conduct their social, cultural and even religious activities,” Fr. Lana told the Varsitarian.
Fr. Saria said the proposed amphitheater will have a collapsible tent-like roof to suit the activities conducted in the area.
Further, he said heavy traffic in the areas between the buildings also influenced the site transfer.
The Student Center will be built to provide student organizations a decent and “very professional” work atmosphere in serving the Thomasian community, Fr. Saria added.
“We expect that the student organizations would then be in a better position to serve the needs of the community and the Thomasians at large,” he said.
The Student Center project, planned some six years ago by then Vice-Rector for Finance Fr. Roberto Pinto, O.P., is being funded by tycoon and honorary alumnus Lucio Tan, through his father’s Tan-Yankee Foundation.
“Tan-Yankee, chaired by Dr. (Lucio) Tan, will be the one to fund most of the expenses, but UST will provide whatever will be lacking,” Fr. Saria said.
The structure, to be called the UST Tan-Yankee Student Center, will house facilities, rooms, and two audio-visual rooms for some 30 university-wide student organizations, including the Varsitarian.
Upon transfer to the new building, Fr. Saria said the student organizations will be allowed to use UST’s administrative software through the University’s Intranet service.
“What we envision is that administrative software, like Microsoft Exchange, Budget Forecaster, and reporting systems, would be open for the student organizations to have a more professional atmosphere,” Fr. Saria said.
The Student Center, which will stand four stories high and cover 28.5 by 30 meters of land area, is expected to take 18 months of construction.
Meanwhile, Fr. Saria said a new food court on the new Pay Parking area in front of the UST Hospital will be operational by May. John Rheeno T. Cabangcalan and Lady Camille L. de Guia