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Xavier University president Fr. Roberto Yap explains the need for the Jesuit-owned institution to build a new campus away from downtown Cagayan de Oro during a news conference yesterday morning. (photo by Nitz Arancon)

Fate of Xavier plan rests in the hands of Venezuelan

By NITZ ARANCON
Correspondent .

THE fate of the Xavier University campus rests in the hands of a Venezuelan Jesuit priest in Rome.

Xavier president Fr. Roberto Yap told a news conference yesterday that he was expecting Society of Jesus superior general Fr. Arturo Sosa to make a decision on the university’s plan to build its “Campus of the Future” in uptown Cagayan de Oro and develop four hectares of its present campus through a joint-venture agreement with a Cebu-based firm. The Venezuelan Jesuit priest has the final say, and not Fr. Yap or Xavier’s board of trustees.

“We hope that by December, this year, we will have an answer from the Father General (Sosa) with regard to this plan,” Yap said.

Yap said Xavier’s comprehensive plan along with a report on the outcome of a series of consultations with stakeholders would be sent to Fr. Sosa in September.

Sosa has written to Xavier and stated that the plan “seems reasonable” but noted that the undertaking would be costly. He advised Xavier officials to give room for “more in-depth and extensive discernment and consultation…”

The ambitious development plan would require some P5.2 billion, and would be slowly carried out in eight to 10 years, according to Yap.

Mayor Oscar Moreno has lauded the university’s plan and called it a “game changer.” It is seen to change the landscape of both uptown and downtown Cagayan de Oro.

Based on the plan, the first to be developed by Xavier would be a 24-hectare campus within the university’s 63-hectare Manresa property.

According to Yap, the first phase would require at least P3.5 billion, P1.5 billion of which would be sourced from the sale of 14 of the 63-hectare Manresa property to Cebu Landmasters.

Four years after the first phase of development of the new campus, four hectares of Xavier’s downtown property would be developed through a Cebu Landmasters-Xavier joint venture.

The downtown project, referred to as “Xavier City,” is seen to generate some P2 billion, more than the university’s P1.7-billion requirement for the second phase of development of the new campus, according to Yap.

Uptown, while Xavier develops its 24-hectare “Campus of the Future,” Cebu Landmasters would also build its 14-hectare “Manresa Town,” a mixed-use commercial and residential area.

Based on the plan, the same live-work-play environment would be created in the four-hectare “Xavier City” in downtown Cagayan de Oro, said Yap.

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