The UST General Santos main building is topped off on Tuesday, Dec. 4. (Photo from UST FMO Director Fr. Dexter Austria, O.P.)

THE UST General Santos (GenSan) main building, the first edifice in the 76.78-hectare Mindanao campus, is expected to be completed in 2023, University officials said during the building’s topping off ceremony on Saturday. 

The topping off rites were attended by UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P., Facilities and Management Office (FMO) director Fr. Dexter Austria, O.P, GenSan City Mayor Ronnel Rivera, and Abelardo Tolentino Jr., architect of the UST GenSan main building.

The six-story building will house four units: the School of Business and Accountancy, the School of Health Sciences, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the School of Engineering and Technology. 

The main building will have 77 classrooms, 25 laboratories, a 100-person capacity chapel, a 65-person capacity cafeteria, a library, a clinic, student organization rooms, a 300-person capacity auditorium and three function halls. 

Also to be housed in the main building are the rector’s office and boardroom, the vice rector’s offices, executive offices and a lounge for administrators.

Classrooms will be located at the second to the fifth floors of the building, while the upper ground floor will have the chapel, cafeteria, library and administrative offices. 

Atop the building is a viewing deck that will feature a 360-degree view of GenSan. 

Tolentino, an architecture alumnus and president of AIDEA Philippines Inc., said the Mindanao campus was built with the intention of preserving the UST branding while exhibiting General Santos City’s culture and diversity.

In his speech, Ang said higher education is a “key to a better life,” and bringing UST closer to the people of Mindanao will help this cause.

UST-GenSan is expected to take up to 15,000 students in its first 15 years.

“This is our gift to the people of General Santos; it is Luzon meeting Mindanao. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, UST remains committed to spreading quality education, and this building is a testament and proof of our single-mindedness to establish our presence in General Santos,” the Rector said. 

Rivera said the city of GenSan was looking forward to the opening of the Mindanao campus. 

[I]t is our pride and honor to work together with an institution dedicated to a generation, advancement, and transmission of knowledge to form competent and compassionate professionals committed to the service of the church, the nation, and the global community,” Rivera said. 

Bishop Cerilo Casicas of the Diocese of Marbel in South Cotabato led the Eucharistic celebration and blessing of UST General Santos. 

The Rector will form a committee to determine when classes in UST GenSan will open, Austria told the Varsitarian

“Early part of 2023 will be the completion of construction of the main building. As regards the timeline of the opening, the Father Rector will form a committee to determine that. Most likely, 2023 or 2024,” he said.

UST GenSan is the first UST campus outside Luzon.


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