Implementation of Athletic Bowl rehab above board says expert

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BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways – Baguio City District Engineering Office (DPWH-BCDEO) ruled out poor design, poor structure and poor workmanship in the on-going rehabilitation of the Baguio Athletic Bowl, saying that the preparations of the project plans, and programs of work passed through rigid engineering process that took into consideration all intervening factors among others.

Engr. Alexander C. Castañeda, DPWH Baguio District Engineer, said the preparation of the overall plans and programs of work were done in close coordination with the city government so that the inputs of city officials and technical personnel will be included in order to achieve the overall goal of having a tartan oval for the Baguio Athletic Bowl this year.

“The conclusion of some groups and individuals that the overall project is poor in design is rather sweeping when, in fact, the project design had been the subject of various revisions in order to include all possible inputs to make the Athletic Bowl a world-class structure,” Castañeda stressed.

From the previous dome-typed design for the grandstand, he explained city and DPWH officials agreed to undertake simple rehabilitation works using the P14.7 million initially earmarked by the agency for the first phase of the project.

Under the first phase of the project, works included the concreting of a 98-meter section of the main bleachers and replacement of its roof, expanded grandstand plus extended roofing.

He explained Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan wanted the simple rehabilitation of the structures because the city government is still considering the ambitious private-public partnership for the overall development of the city’s main sports facility.

With the P50 million fund for the second phase of the project already available, Castañeda disclosed almost 70 percent of the fund will be used up for the tartan track oval and the appropriate drainages which will be implemented right after the closing of the Panagbenga while works for the put up of two comfort rooms at both ends of the bleachers are now underway.

Furthermore, the mezzanine of the main bleachers will have concrete flooring so that it could be used as storage for sports equipment or will serve as athlete’s quarters depending on the desire of the city government upon the turnover of the same to the local government.

On the utilization of the P60 million fund earmarked by the city government as its contribution to the rehabilitation of the city’s premier sports facility, he said the local government can build and expand the wooden bleachers located at the left corner into a concrete structure when entering the main gate.

Moreover, the BCDEO proposed the basement could be excavated for office purposes and stated the need to construct a concrete roof for the structure for multipurpose  uses.

The DPWH-BCDEO official also recommended the city could also build a VIP lounge before the main entrance to the grandstand coming from the access road to cater to the requirements of national and international guests who will be attending sports gatherings to be hosted by the city.

“We might be able to complete the tartan track oval with a concrete base and appropriate drainages before the rainy season so we want to lift the suspension of the project right after the Panagbenga activities at the Athletic Bowl,” he said.

According to him, the German-made rubber for the tartan track oval costs P27 million alone while part of the agency’s P50 million will be used to put up the concrete base and drainage system before laying out the rubber oval.

City officials envision the Baguio Athletic Bowl to be able to comply with international standards of sports competitions so that Baguio City will be able to host local, regional, national and international sports competitions.

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