AFTER announcing that the Cebu City Government will soon open the Dr. Jose Rizal Public Library 24/7 for students, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he is planning to convert the second level of some markets into study centers.

In his news conference, Osmeña said he has assigned Councilor Joy Augustus Young to oversee the project, which is estimated to cost around P100 million.

The budget for this will be taken from the proceeds of the sale of the three-hectares (has.) lot in the South Road Properties (SRP).

“We have new priorities now because of the demand of a student to turn the library into a place of study. I began to realize that thanks to the student, the demand is widespread,” he said.

In a post in his official Facebook page dated March 6, the mayor said the library is now being outfitted for 24-hour use as per request of an electronics engineering student who sought his assistance.

A certain Mitch Roldan wrote a comment in one of Osmeña’s post, asking the mayor to consider opening the library for 24/7 to give students a good place to study.

In response, the mayor said the airconditioners at the Senior Citizens building in the SRP will be transferred to the library. Additional staff and guards are being hired, closed circuit television cameras installed, and WiFi routers are on their way, he added.

Osmeña also wants an abandoned barangay hall in Calamba and the City’s dormitory to be renovated and converted into a study center.

He is also eyeing the conversion of the first floor levels of the public markets in Barangays Cogon Ramos, T. Padilla, San Nicolas Proper and Pardo into study centers.

The projects, though, will have to wait until the City Government can dispose of the two lots in Pond F composed of Lot 1-F-8-A with an area of 25,769 square meters (sq.m.) and Lot 1-H-1 with an area of 3,349 sq.m.

The City Government is expected to generate some P3.3 billion by selling the area at P110,000 per square meter.

“I have to sell the three has. to generate additional funds because now we have this new immediate priority. That’s what the students want and that’s what were going to give them,” Osmeña said.

But before that, the mayor wants to finalize first the P18 billion proposal of Universal Hotels and Resorts Inc. at Kawit Island in the SRP. Osmeña said he supports the creation of a five-member ad hoc committee that will look into the matter as this will ensure transparency. (RTF)