Considering a ‘half billion’ project

September 03, 2017

I find it hard to believe that our own Colegio will spend a lucrative amount of almost 500 million for the sole renovation of the Blessed Antonio Varona Gymnasium.

In an article released by sports media giant, Letran Athletics Director Fr. Vic Calvo, O.P., bared that the current Letran gym will be replaced by a four-story sports facility amounting to half-a-billion pesos.

Indeed, the news is music to our ears, especially after that dreadful sight fans saw of the gym’s current status when Letran hosted an ‘NCAA on Tour’ game last month. The old and fading flooring, specifically, became the center of heavy commentary of students, staff, and alumni alike. However, the afterthought would be: Why that big of a cost?

Half-a-billion is a huge load of money. I’m not a financial expert or a person into budget making, but just by the sound of it, you can already tell that the allotment is somewhat absurd, perhaps unbelievable for it to be that enormous.

Officials of the school insisted that the project is in commemoration to our 400th founding anniversary in 2020. The move will mimic the sister-school University of Santo Tomas when it built its own quadricentennial gymnasium when it reached its own 400th year celebration years back. But a quadricentennial project is more than just improving our own athletic facility. I mean, if we are eager to really live up to that 400th-year goal, a gigantic budget should not only be allotted to one project. When we talk about developing our own Colegio, we should seek for a definitive overall goal which will affect the whole institution. In this case, we should also consider the renovation of classrooms, libraries, and other learning facilities such as science, media, and computer laboratories.

Needless to say, the overall concept of spending a lucrative amount is very unpractical. Although we can look at it as a huge step for our own athletics program, let’s also take into question where the budget will come from - given lesser students have enrolled in the past two years. Let’s also take note and visualize the benefits the Colegio will receive if it will be divided for the improvement of other sectors like the educational system, improvement of personnel and staff, and refurbishment of other facilities other than the Varona gym.

Also, the said project is set to start as early as this October, when the NCAA season is in mid-year. This can somehow affect training schedules of teams other than basketball, who will start their respective campaigns during the second semester. It remains to be seen how the Athletics department will disperse these teams’ training sessions once reconstruction begins.
Let’s take all of this into consideration, shall we?