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Baguio sports complex is A grade; tennis court, parking building in one area

STATE OF THE ART. The Baguio athletic bowl that is envisioned by the City Building and Architect Office and its plan finalized with help from the Philippine Sports Commission which has seen savings of P59 million. Councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales is one of the most excited to see the sports complex rise because it will have the youth convergence center. Photo from Sangguniang Panglungsod

Two city funded sports facilities worth PhP511 million may just have one more hurdle to surmount as city administrator Bonifacio dela Peña is set to face the city council today anew for his final appearance relative to the projects.

Today’s session will have Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Cordillera executive director Ralph Pablo to explain where the Burnham Park and Baguio Athletic Bowl stand in relation to Original Certificate Title No. 1.

Guests in the first agenda in today’s session include OIC city legal officer Richard Dayag and city planning and development officer Donna Tabangin.

But Dela Peña is bullish that the PhP391 million project will be bid out soon and be implemented anytime this year, even as he looks at the reworked PhP120M parking building at a new location and another component of the sports complex integrated with it.

“We just made a few tweaks,” dela Peña told RNG Luzon referring to the parking building that was earlier planned to rise at the dilapidated smaller grandstand or bandstand.

Dela Peña said that the Department of Tourism has thumbed down the proposed four storey parking building that would have included a view room atop to give spectators a magnificent view of the happenings at the track and field.

“But it was denied because it will destroy the view,” said the engineer.

Instead, the parking building, reduced to only three floors will rise at the present site of the Baguio Tennis Club, which was earlier envisioned to have three fast, hard courts and a lone shell-clay court for a slower surface for the senior citizens.

The four courts will be dug to be able to accommodate more vehicles, with the third and top floor to be used as the tennis courts. Three fast lanes and one for the elderlies will be placed there, he said.

“We cannot go any higher since again, the view will be blocked,” he said.

Meanwhile, as the extension of the big grandstand is about to be finished, the placements of the four flood lamps will rise at the Baguio City High School side near the future sports complex and one adjacent or at the bandstand, while two more will rise at the opposite ends near the big grandstand.

Dela Peña said that the PhP49 million grandstand extension is on the last stages of its construction with just the installation of the bleachers to be made.

Error Free

Earlier, dela Peña told the city council that they will not repeat the errors made in the construction of sports facilities in the past here that bidders must have the experience in building sports complex and with good track record to qualify.

Dela Peña told city councilors that the envisioned sports facility will “comply with international standard” which is now assured after consultations with the Philippine Sports Commission including Noel Elnar, chief architect in the building of the Clark sports complex used during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Dela Peña said they approached the PSC “because we are not really experts in this kind of endeavor.” And he said that it took them six months “to revise the design prepared” by the City Building and Architect Office and “changed by PSC to comply with international standard.”

Dela Peña said: “(We) assure you that we will not get a contractor who has not done a sports complex, and must show us proof that the contractor have done it.”

He said that with PSC’s help, cost of the five storey building was reduced to P391 million from the original estimate of P450 million.

Dela Peña said that they will be now very careful and get the contractor best suited for the construction of the sports complex cum youth convergence center and avoid mistakes on the design of facilities within the Baguio athletic bowl like the swimming pool and track, which do not follow international standard.

“The swimming pool and the track are short,” admitted dela Peña during the city council session adding that the track is three meter short.

In his report to the councilors, dela Peña said the building will have a parking facility located at the ground floor which can accommodate about 60 vehicles and 20 motorcycles.

The upper ground floor will house the convergence center for the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) where they will have offices, a multi-purpose hall, an auditorium and other required amenities for their activities.

The third floor will be a training ground for athletes of contact sports like boxing and taekwondo among others and other individual sports where local athletes have been known to excel.

“Our athletes from the Batang Pinoy need a venue to train and this is what the coaches asked for,” said dela Peña. The city was again the over-all winner in the last national Batang Pinoy held in August 2019.

The fourth floor will have a six lane bowling alley and will be used as training ground for bowlers.

A basketball court will also be constructed on the fifth floor. It will be the first ever basketball court to be put up and managed by the city government for its athletes, the court will be at least five meter high atop the sports complex. In terms of height, it will be the highest compared to the other floors so that they can install posts that will only “carry the roofing.”

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