by Ranjie Nocete | March 19, 2023
Silliman University (SU) Senior High School (SHS) principal Kemmons Kilat urged the SU Administration to complete the SHS building for the next school year due to the lack of classrooms.
“We have parents and students already complaining. I am fervently praying that the completion of the entire building will be by June-July [at] the latest,” he said.
Kilat said the building’s completion date was supposed to be in August 2022, which was then moved to November 2022.
On the delay, he said, “Silliman should have asked the contractor or compelled the contractor to finish on time.”
Meanwhile, Jane Belarmino, vice president for development, enterprise, and external affairs, said the delay was due to a “conglomeration of many things.”
These factors included community quarantine, weather conditions, design changes due to a change in layout, various structural revisions to the water tank, the final location of the septic tank, and revisions in the structural design, said Belarmino.
She said that they were practicing “due diligence” to ensure the safety of the building.
“The administration is really very sensitive to the needs of the students, but…things like buildings that are supposed to be strong, be safe, well designed…It doesn’t happen overnight,” she said.
Belarmino said that she cannot set a date for the building’s completion since “the contractor has also not promised a specific date.”
The west wing of the building is 95 percent complete, according to Belarmino.
She said that the contractors are processing a temporary building permit so it can be used “hopefully” before the school year ends.
However, Kilat said that using the west wing while construction is ongoing is “not advisable” because of “security concerns and safety concerns.”
“They will build a tunnel there for the students’ safe passage. We’re seeing [them] using used materials from [Building and Grounds]… but I think the safety officer did not agree so, therefore, we do not use them,” he said.
SHS on delay
SHS council governor Ella Vasquez said that some SHS students were “disappointed” while others were “understanding” of the construction delay.
Like Kilat, Vasquez said the “deadliest deadline” would be this summer.
Moreover, Belarmino said that she hopes the rest of the building will be done before next school year but cannot promise a date because she “cannot control everything.”
As of writing, the SHS department, with around 1,700 students, attends hybrid classes and shares classrooms with other departments while their building is under construction.