THE Dr. Ricardo S. Po Sr. Integrated Innovation and Research Laboratories, the second major structure at UST General Santos (GenSan), is set to break ground on April 25, commencing a two-year construction project eyed to be completed in 2026.

The building is named after the late UST alumnus and Century Pacific Food Inc. founder, whose family donated the structure to UST.

Set to rise in front of the newly opened Main Building, the research laboratories will occupy 3,450 square meters of the 82.2-hectare Mindanao campus, said Facilities Management Office (FMO) Director Fr. Dexter Austria, O.P.

“[It] is intended to be used mainly as research laboratories for the School of Health Sciences,” Austria told the Varsitarian. “The building is mainly an extension of the laboratories located [on] the 6th floor of the Main Building.”

Multiple research laboratories will be housed in the two floors of the building, with each room capable of accommodating 35 to 45 students.

Aidea Philippines, Inc., the company behind the planning of UST GenSan, will design and build the Ricardo Po Research Lab.

“It is built neo-classical design similar to the Main Building. Design elements such as color and Mindanaoan patterns will also be seen in the buildings,” Austria said.

Po was an industrial chemistry student at the UST College of Science, then the College of Liberal Arts. He studied at the University from 1952 to 1954 but had to stop because of financial problems.

He was granted a master’s degree in business administration in 2006 by the UST Graduate School through the Commission on Higher Education’s Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency Accreditation Program.

In March 2022, UST conferred Po a posthumous doctorate in science, honoris causa.

UST GenSan, the largest UST campus to date, now has six computer laboratories and 17 wet laboratories in its Main Building.

The Mindanao campus is set to open its doors in Academic Year 2024 to 2025 and expects to accommodate 500 students in its first year under five programs: BS Accounting Information System, BS Entrepreneurship, BS Industrial Engineering, BS Medical Technology, and BS Pharmacy.

Admission exams for the pioneering batch of UST GenSan students will be on May 25.


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