craig aquino,

Opinion: Limited space

5/28/2018 08:30:00 PM Media Center 0 Comments

Students who performed well during the school year were recognised last May 4, 2018 at the Parangal ceremony held at the newly-renovated University of the Philippines Integrated School (UPIS) Auditorium.

The Parangal is an annual event, meant to celebrate meritorious students and their achievements. For those without awards, it may serve as an inspiration to work harder and do better. It can benefit everyone, whether they get to climb the stage or not.

It would be sad then, if students were robbed of the opportunity to participate.

And robbed they were.

Only the Grade 12 students and one section from each grade level from Grades 7-11 were allowed to attend the Parangal for the high school level this year.

Although the recently renovated auditorium had great new features, such as air conditioning, a large UPIS logo emblazoned on the stage-left wall, and better seats, it was unable to accomodate the whole 7-12 student body, parents and guests of awardees, and faculty members.

This was due to the fact that the auditorium as renovated couldn’t be filled to its supposed maximum capacity, as it wasn’t structurally stable enough to hold the mass of occupants. The Office of the Campus Architect recommended that the auditorium’s capacity not be pushed to its limits, as doing so would risk collapse and harm to those in attendance.

That wasn’t the only issue with the auditorium though. The renovations were not made for simple aesthetics. They were, first of all, because of problems stemming from how the auditorium was built: old and improperly elevated seats and a badly built stage prevented people from being able to properly watch whatever event was occurring.

The auditorium was also originally made to hold only 453 people. The auditorium was a late addition to the plans, and therefore failed to account for the two additional batches to be added by the K-12 program. Only Grades 7-10 were considered during the creation of the auditorium.

One would then wonder: will every batch ever get a chance to watch an event in the auditorium together? Most likely not.

The next best option for a school-wide event venue, according to Assistant Principal for Administration Prof. Portia Dimabuyu, would be the Gymnasium.

It is sad, to say the least.

The auditorium should be a place where students can enjoy school events together. It would be terrible to be excluded from it for any reason, even more so because of poor planning.

However, what can be done? Perhaps there are some architectural esoterica that could be used to save the auditorium? Unlikely. Seeing as the problems lie in the structure of the auditorium itself and how it was built, the only solution would be a complete overhaul or rebuild of the place.

We can’t honestly expect the school to do that. It would not only be expensive and difficult, but also disruptive to classes and the normal functioning of the school.

Someone should be held accountable for these issues, though, at least. These problems came from somewhere along the line when the school was being built.

A student population including Grades 7-12 was accounted for when the number of classrooms was being decided. Why not for the auditorium as well?

Even then, giving consideration to the late addition of the auditorium as an excuse for the aforementioned problem, why were the issues needing renovations to be rectified present? Because of those, the already too-small capacity of the auditorium was even more reduced.

That’s inexcusable, given that those factors, seat and stage elevation, should be main considerations when designing an auditorium, as they allow one to fully experience from their seat whatever’s going on on stage.

The audi, as it is familiarly called by students, was lacking from the start. We can’t blame the school administration for that. They’re just making do with what we already have.

The school trusted certain people to create an auditorium to serve UPIS, and those certain people broke that trust. Now, it’s the students getting the short end of the stick, being prevented from going to supposed school-wide events, and the administration too, being blamed by students for the unfortunate situation.

Why must we suffer for the mistakes of another, and receive no recompense?//by Craig Aquino, Marlyn Go, Storm Gatchalian and Yssa Luna 

You Might Also Like