Sunday , June 24, 2018

Osmeña mulls converting City condo into a study hub

WOULD it be feasible for the Cebu City Government to not demolish its five-story condominium, and just renovate its first few floors instead?

To see if it is, Mayor Tomas Osmeña wants the City’s Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW), the Department of Public Works and Highways 7, and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau 7 to concur with a structural engineer’s recommendation.

According to the mayor, Engr. Pericles Dakay told him that a demolition would not be necessary.

“There are certain remedial measures that can be made to save the structure of the building,” Osmeña told reporters.

The discussion on the integrity of the City-owned condominium started when the mayor sought Dakay’s opinion on the matter.

After making Dr. Jose Rizal Public Library 24/7, in response to students, Osmeña has announced that he is planning to convert some City-owned buildings into study centers.

Among the structures he is eyeing for the project is the 20-year-old facility on N. Bacalso Ave.

“It started when I told him (Dakay) kung mahimo ba atong i-demolish ang pila ka floors just to make it lighter. He said ‘no, you can use the whole thing.’ We have to study the structure and reinforce it, but I will make the first two floors into a study center,” Osmeña said.

Engineers from the General Services Office and the Office of the Building Official (OBO) inspected the condominium in June 2016 and found out that the building had many signs of damage.

A year later, DEPW and OBO recommended the condemnation of the structure due to several problems. It was also found that the building stands on top of a sinkhole.

The mayor, though, said he trusted Dakay’s recommendation since he is one, if not, “the most qualified structural engineer” in the country.

Dakay earned his doctorate in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1990. He is also the president of Dakay Construction and Development Corp.

The inspection of the building will start once the City Government raises the funds for it, the mayor added.

“Our shifting priorities is going to basically put up more study centers because of the clamor and the library is not good enough. We’re thinking of many other places to make it more accessible to the people,” he said. “If that’s what they want, that’s what they get. Am I politicking? Yes. What’s wrong with that? It’s good politics because you make people happy. Better than complaining.” (RTF)