By GERALD LEIGH LAQUINON
FIFTY-TWO classrooms at City Central School are set to be demolished in preparation for the construction of an P800-million world-class five-story school building, the school’s principal said on Tuesday.
Arnold Tejero, City Central School principal, said the demolition permit has already been issued after authorities declared it to be unfit for use.
Tejero said the decision to demolish the 52 classrooms was unanimously affirmed by the regional Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Physical Facilities Division of the Department of Education (Deped) Central Office, and a group of experts sent by the University of the Philippines.
“They used equipment to test the concrete components of the building, and many of its parts did not pass the building integrity test,” said Tejero.
The classrooms and the covered court were no longer used by the students for two years now after such declaration. It can be recalled that a fire damaged these facilities in 2012 but were then rehabilitated.
“But there were already many pronouncements from technical experts that buildings that sustained more than an hour of fire should no longer be rehabilitated and used,” said Tejero.
He added that after failing the building test, the mayor and the city schools division superintendent did not want to take the risk in rehabilitating and using further the buildings.
The Office of the Building Official has already approved the demolition and has issued a demolition permit. The school officials are now on a waiting status for its implementation.
“The city mayor will build the Oro Central during the first year of his second term,” Tejero revealed.
The Oro Central is envisaged to be a world-class five-story school building with 200 classrooms that would stretch from Corrales to Velez streets.
Based on the plan, the building’s fifth floor would can be used as an evacuation center while the ground floor that would face Yacapin St. would be for commercial use.
“The school can then have a source of income, and thus will no longer collect contributions from the students,” said Terjero.
Oro Central’s budget is worth P800 million, P200 million of which would come from the Deped, and the P600 million from the private sector under the Private Public Partnership program.
The school principal counts on that with the construction of the school building, they would finally return to a one-is-to-one teacher-classroom ratio from a double shift system that they have been practicing for quite a while now due to classroom shortage.