THE BAGUIO Convention Center will soon have a new look.

Baguio City Councilor Mylen Yaranon said the renovation and retrofitting master development plan for the convention center was completed within the deadline given by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for its 2017 bidding and awarding schedule.

Highlights of the plan include: retention of the historical and architectural significance and footprint of the site and structure; maximum use of renewable energies, natural lighting, and ventilation in the building and site design; ecologically feasible and resilient building and site development; integration of pedestrianized areas; increase in parking areas through basement parking; and expansion of the seating capacity to over 2000.

The development plan is based on a 2012 feasibility study conducted by the Baguio city government with the collaboration of the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) and the private sector.

The feasibility study had recommended a retrofitting and renovation plan aimed at finding the best balance between modernization, heritage/historical conservation, and financial viability.

The master plan includes inputs from both the public and private sectors. Its design framework has three guiding points, namely: increased public interest for the structure and its current condition; stakeholder involvement about its retrofitting and renovation plans and a master development plan based on design best practices.

A technical working group (TWG) composed of Baguio architects and engineers collaborated to formulate the direction and phasing of the BCC’s retrofitting and renovation plan starting 2017 and the coming years.

READ: Working group for Baguio Convention Center formed

Yaranon said work on the convention center will be divided into three phases.

The TWG is composed of CBAO Head Engr. Nazita Bañez, city Architect Donna Tabangin, Architects Geromina Arellano, Mark Tidang, Maria Jorquesa Hakcholna, Eugene Lumdang, Irene Florendo, Melvin Alimba, Joseph Alabanza, Miguel Caluza, Bonifacio dela Peña, Engr. Joselito Buhangin.

A public consultation has been conducted led by Yaranon, Councilor Elmer Datuin, and Architect Joseph Alabanza.

A Building Information Management Team composed of Architects Anthony Raquepo, Ronnie Quijana, Joy Ellen Pascua, and Michael John Astudillo worked with the TWG in the development of the design database.

The local government acquired the convention center for P250 million in 2012 from the Government Service Insurance System with the use of the city’s accumulated share from the lease of the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone held by the state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority.