Ateneo retrofits buildings, some classes pushed to August 3
MANILA, Philippines – In preparation for the "Big One", Ateneo de Manila University is retrofitting 3 buildings in the grade school complex and is pushing back classes for Grades 3 to 6 from this June to Monday, August 3.
In a statement issued last June 1, Ateneo de Manila University President Fr Jett Villarin said that upon the recommendation of structural consultants, 3 buildings – David Hall, Fermin Hall, and Pacquing Hall – will be retrofitted (modified or updated from their original structure), in accordance with the 2010 National Structural Code of the Philippines.
Villarin said in a phone interview this will involve strengthening of beams and columns, following a structural audit done in 2014.
Ateneo lies less than a kilometer away from the West Valley Fault line which stretches from Rizal to Laguna and which is capable of producing a 7.2-magnitude quake. (READ: Schools, hospitals near West Valley Fault)
Villarin said in his statement, “Following these recommendations and the recent pronouncements by DepEd on the West Valley Fault, we will commence soonest the retrofitting process of these buildings to ensure their structural integrity.” (READ: Safety check for 6 schools near West Valley Fault ongoing)
Classes for Junior High School (Grades 7 and 8) will start on June 15, while those in Grade School (Grades 3 to 6) will commence on August 3. Classes for Grades 1 and 2 proceeded as scheduled last June 1 and 8, respectively.
Junior High School classes will be held at the Bellarmine Hall. Prefabricated units are already being built to add to the 18 or 19 classrooms in Bellarmine, which aren't enough to accommodate all incoming Grade 7 and 8 students, Villarin told Rappler.
“As we have been doing for several years now, we shall keep working to streamline and integrate disaster risk education as part of our strategic thrust on environment and development, not just for our own but for our country as well,” Villarin said.
He assured the university community that more stringent precautionary measures are being undertaken to mitigate the risks posed by the West Valley Fault line. (READ: What dangers await when the West Valley Fault moves?) The university has been in close coordination with Phivolcs or the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
Ateneo has been conducting several emergency drills for fire and earthquake as well.
Ateneo’s DRR platform
In support of disaster mitigation and management, Ateneo launched an online disaster management platform on Tuesday, June 9, in Quezon City.
The project, “eBayanihan”, is a web-mobile disaster management system that seeks to create a community that is resilient and prepared for disasters. It supports mobile, SMS and Web interfaces. (Read: 'eBayanihan', Ateneo's online DRRM platform, launched)
“eBayanihan works like social media. It should allow people to connect with other people, visualize reports on a map,” Rina Estuar, e-Bayanihan project lead and Ateneo professor, told Rappler.
Situation reports from the users of e-Bayanihan, flood reports from NOAH, tweets, and community profiles can be mapped simultaneously to see the actual status during disasters.
Flood Patrol, an app created by Estuar with other partners in 2012, was the predecessor of eBayanihan. — Rappler.com