UP Cebu library building condemned, ordered closedBy Charisse Ursal
CEBU CITY—Students of the state university in Cebu suddenly found themselves without a library.
Officials of the University of the Philippines Cebu College (UPCC) condemned the two-story building that housed the university library citing as reason the danger of its collapse as a result of cracks that had been found on beams of the building’s ceiling.
The building, which was constructed 30 years ago, also housed a conference hall and an audio visual room. It was renovated in 2008 at the cost of P3 million.
The cracks were discovered after engineers inspected the building to check if it would pass the strength requirement of having more floors added to it.
Engineer Albert Bascon, officer in charge of the UP Cebu Campus Development and Maintenance Office, said the proposed expansion would have cost P50 million.
On July 18, the UPCC management ordered the building vacated for fear of an accident taking place as a result of the cracks.
Bascon said the budget for the renovation of the building might be realigned to construct a new building instead, though this would take at least eight months to finish. He, however, didn’t give any specific date for the start of construction.
The closure of the university library came at the “worst time,” said Caryl Baylon, a graduating mass communications student.
She said she and her classmates needed the library to do research for their thesis.
“Now, I have to spend more time and money to research on the Internet or go to other university libraries where I still have to pay an entrance fee. It’s really hard to work on a thesis without a library,” Baylon said.
Bascon, however, said the university was taking measures not to deprive the students of the use of university facilities.
The books in the library were transferred to four areas around the university campus so the students would still have access to books and other research materials.
These areas are found at Undergraduate Building Room 202 for the math and sciences cluster; classroom GP4 for the management cluster; Arts and Sciences Room 259 for the political science and computer science courses; and Interactive Learning Center for the humanities cluster.
UP Cebu Student Council chairperson Chao Cabatingan said the closure of the library building was both a good and a bad thing.
Cabatingan said it was good because the administration considered the safety of the students first while providing alternative sites for the facilities in the building.
“It is bad because the building was just newly renovated and the students won’t be able to optimize the use of the facility until such time that a new building [is] constructed,” he said.
Bascon explained that if the building does not pass safety tests, the school administration would convert the Arts and Sciences building lobby into a library until the new building is completed.