Home | Gonzaga: Ready for Occupancy – Soon!

Rebuilding Updates
(Part 1 of 2)

It’s slowly taking back its shape, slowly getting back in form – the Gonzaga Wing of the College Building.

First Phase of Rebuilding

This is the first phase of the reconstruction. All three floors of the Gonzaga Wing of the College building are simultaneously undergoing a makeover. Clearing and cleaning operations started almost immediately after the fire hit the Brebeuf Gym, its annex buildings and adjoining structures last July 7, 2016.

While the re-construction of the computer center and laboratories and the rehabilitation of faculty workrooms and administrative offices are going on, on the sides their former (and future) occupants await: the Administrators, Faculty and Staff from the School of Management and Accountancy, School of Education, School of Liberal Arts and the College of Nursing; the Office of the Academic Vice President, the Assistant to the AVP, the University Registrar, the Center for Information Technology Services (CITS), and the Basic and Advanced Computer Laboratories – all temporarily displaced by the blaze and occupying transitory sites around the campus.

Through the generosity of alumni and friends, other projects are underway: the rehabilitation of classrooms in the Senior High School (SHS) area; the replacement of burned musical instruments of the University Band, the acquisition of computer units, the recovery of the collection of the Law School library, the setting up of temporary cafeteria facilities; and the assessment of the electrical and structural integrity of affected buildings.

The determination to “Rise above the Ashes” which has become the battle cry of the Rebuilding program, has become evident as early as the next few days after the fire – power lines were restored, including Internet and Local Area Network services, and by the following week, classes resumed July 13, Tuesday.

Threat turns to Opportunity

Taking charge and overseeing the rebuilding program, Fr President Karel San Juan, SJ, called a meeting, with the Presidential Management Team and some administrators, deans, directors and heads of offices. “The fire has given us the opportunity to build back, recover what we lost, and address long-standing facility needs of the University,” he stated as he called to order the first of a series of continuing conversations and consultations for the Campus Development Plan for the Salvador campus in La Purisima.

Rebuilding – against all odds while keeping the Faith and Mission Alive

Rallying behind the President, the community has taken on the task of rebuilding head-on and against all odds. “The task of rebuilding has renewed the University’s commitment to its mission of education and social transformation,” Fr President stated.  ADZU plays an important role in the mission of the Jesuits in the Philippines, particularly in peace and development in Mindanao, in a region challenged by poverty and an elusive peace and order situation. ADZU’s services extends from Zamboanga City to the provinces of Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and the island provinces of Sulu, Basilan, and Tawi Tawi. 

Even before the fire, ADZU has already been facing many challenges including the still unrecovered loss, unrepaired damages, and unresolved issues resulting from the 2013 Zamboanga Siege. It continues to suffer from decreased enrolments due to economic setbacks coupled with fast faculty and staff turnover, and the constant threat to security and volatile situation in the city. In addition, “ADZU is the smallest and most financially-challenged Ateneo in the Philippines,” cited Fr President.

This is the backdrop against which the University is trying to rebuild itself. Thus, Fr President explains, whatever contribution made for the Rebuilding program is not just helping ADZU get back on its feet, but is in a more profound way, an investment in peace and development in the region, in Mindanao, and the whole country.

To be concluded.