The University of the Cordilleras has started construction of its state of the art PhP700 million 10 storey building at the City Camp area in an effort “to give the best for its students.” Management, teachers and students last month bid adieu to the school’s oldest owned building, the UC Libertad annex at Hamada subdivision to give way to the 10 floor planned new home for the university’s high school and elementary learners as well as criminology and education students.

“It is hard to say farewell to the very first building owned by the school/foundation,” said UC chair Rey Dean Salvosa during an interview recently. Salvosa said that they have no choice but have the
65 year old building demolished to come out with a modern 10 storey structure that could provide
the “best” for the nearly 17,000 students of the school founded just after World War II in 1946.

Salvosa said that the building is very close to him and his siblings as it also served as their home while growing up. “We had no house and we used to stay at one of the rooms of the school,” said the 76 year old son of founding chair Benjamin Salvosa. “We had this box where we had our clothes and we had to wake up early since the room will be used for classes,” added Salvosa.

Built in 1958, the old building was the first for the 12 year old Baguio Colleges and barely two kilometers from its main campus at the Lopez building and predates its present main campus at the
Commission on Elections compound. It was also the tallest and most recognizable structure at the purely residential and agricultural City Camp area which for decades was the only defiant building when flooding occur at the area.

Salvosa said that building a new one was a conclusion they came up with since the former building had to go after nearly 65 years of existence. “It has to go, 50 years is along time,” said Salvosa, who
replaced his older brother Jesus when the latter died last year as school chair. Salvosa said that
rehabilitation of the former six storey building would requirePhP22 million, money they can afford, but would not guarantee the safety of their faculty and students.

“We have engineers check on the structure and we were told that rehabilitation would need PhP22 million. But when we asked if it could guarantee safety, we were told the opposite,” said Salvosa after the inauguration of the UC gym where the school shelled out PhP28 million. “So we decided to build a new one to give our students the best campus,” said Salvosa. Salvosa said that UC is more than a business, “you change lives. You have to provide the best, if you want quality education.”

“It was kind of hard of letting go of that building, it was home to us before and it was the first building the school ever had,” he said. “It is also the most expensive project the school had ever undertaken,” he said of the PHP700 million bill for the soon to rise 10 storey building. “I hope to see its completion for this three year project, I am already 76,” he added. Construction has already
started for the building which is four storey taller than the previous one and much more modern.

UC is regarded as one of the top law schools in the country having two bar top notchers in the past. It is also known for top notch graduates in criminology, accounting, among others.

Pigeon Lobien/ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon