Saturday, August 6, 2011

U.P. President asks for help in raising P47 million for U.P.'s laboratory school (UPIS) school building overhaul project

U.P. President Pascual briefs invitees to a merienda at Executive House where he briefed them about plans to raise funds for overhauling the existing K-6 structures of UPIS inside U.P. Diliman

Schematic diagram for the complete overhaul of the Narra Dormitory which will make way for the high school of UPIS

By Chanda Shahani 

University of the Philippines (U.P.) President Alfredo E. Pascual asked today for support from University of the Philippines Integrated School (UPIS) alumni, legislators and other interested parties for donor funds totalling PhP 47 million which will allow the overhaul and rebuilding of the existing U.P. Elementary School (K-6) inside the U.P. Diliman campus as part of an overall package which includes the transfer of the high school from Katipunan Road to the former Narra Residence Hall.

"The dream of coming up with a U.P. Integrated School is about to be realized," Pascual said at a merienda he hosted at Executive House at U.P. Diliman this afternoon for UPIS alumni and other interested parties. He said that in the late 1990s there were plans to transfer the high school of  UPIS from its location along Katipunan Avenue to the main academic zone of U.P. Diliman so that it would be closer to the U.P. College of education and the elementary school of UPIS.

UPIS is a laboratory school of the College of Education at U.P. Diliman with several prominent personalities having gone to school there or its predecessor school in Manila which was the U.P. Elementary School and the U.P. High School. The Diliman Diary has extensively covered the issue of the commercialization of the UPIS site along Katipunan Avenue, and our several articles on the subject may be accessed by typing in "UPIS" in this blog's search engine.

AyalaLand, Inc. won the rights to lease the UPIS property through open competitive bidding at terms which were much better than what U.P. received from AyalaLand, Inc. which leased U.P.-owned property along Commonwealth Avenue which is now the site of U.P.-Ayala Technohub, said U.P. Vice-President for Development Elvira A. Zamora, a professor administration at U.P. Diliman, who was also present at the briefing given by President Pascual.

President Pascual explained that as part of the overall package, AyalaLand, Inc. agreed to put up front PhP 180 million, which will be enough to put up the high school of UPIS where the former Narra Residence Hall now stands (please see the second picture for the schematic diagram of this). AyalaLand, Inc. also is giving some PhP 40 million for the grade school, which is not enough for U.P., since it plans to come up with an almost new structure which would require an additional PhP 47 million, bringing up the cost to overhaul the existing grade school to PhP 87 million.

The site of the former UPIS will be a town center that will be utilized for mixed use. It will be also a place for technology and business integrators which will cater to the private sector, especially techno entrepreneurs. “This will allow us to kill a number of birds with one stone,” Pascual said. There will also be an entertainment and town center, which will benefit the university community, he said.

In terms of the high school there is no problem because PhP 180 million has been raised with about 40 million also being raised that can be realigned for the elementary school but more needs to be added to this.

Former College of Architecture Dean Christopher Espina, who now heads the Campus Planning Office assured members of the audience that the new structures would be built in accordance to the national Building Code, and would take into account any possible minor earthquake faults within the area. He explained that the major fault line is the Marikina Valley Fault Line which does not cut through U.P. campus.
Espina said that the buildings would be well-landscaped, shaded and would incorporate as much green technology as possible, and would incorporate cistern tanks that would collect "grey rainwater" in order to help lessen U.P.'s carbon footprint.

Dr. Zamora said that the timetable for the construction of the new high school building would be within the next two to three months with the completion being timed for the opening of classes in the first semester or June, 2012 and with a backup plan of opening the new facility in the second semester of 2012-2013.

President Pascual said that U.P. Diliman was able to justify the retention of UPIS because as a laboratory school, it was intrumental in fulfilling the mission of the university by allowing U.P. College of Education faculty and its students to test and refine learning theories and programs.

He said that the high school attached to U.P. Cebu College could be retained by reinventing it as a high school for the arts with a concentration in high technology and animation.

UPIS currently has a student population of 1100 for K to 10 and can easily modify its programs to accommodate K to 12 should this plan be finalized by national government authorities, according to Ronaldo M. Jose, the principal of UPIS.

According its website UPIS is the basic education unit of UP Diliman. Other universities of UP maintain their own basic education units. UP Los BaƱos has UP Rural High School. UP Visayas has two high schools - one in Cebu and another in Iloilo. Aside from being the oldest of all basic education units in the UP System, UPIS is the only one offering both primary and secondary education.

“Hello Narra, Goodbye Katipunan” - An invitation to all Alumni, Students, Parents and other interested individuals.

The UP High, Prep, Elementary and Integrated School Foundation, Inc. will be having an event "Hello Narra, Goodbye Katipunan" on Friday, August 26, 2011, 7:00 p.m. at the UP Integrated School Multipurpose Hall, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City.

The dinner program will present the future UPIS K-12 developments including the forthcoming transfer from its present site in Katipunan to the old Narra dorm site inside the UP Campus. The event aims to rally the support of our alumni to nurture and sustain excellence of UPIS.

Those who are interested in donating to the Foundation, which is raising the PhP 47 million for UPIS may contact Dr. Marvie M. Abesamis at or cell phone number 0917 8102335

Photos by: Chanda Shahani

(Chanda Shahani is the editor of the Diliman Diary. An A.B. Comparative Literature graduate from U.P. Diliman, he also has a Master's degree in Entrepreneurship from the Asian Institute of Management and is a former business page reporter for the Philippine STAR).

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