In order to address the University’s need for more campus space, the DLSU administration has recently announced their purchase of the historic Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) adjacent to the school.
The meeting, which was attended by various representatives from the administration, faculty, and the University Student Government (USG), discussed the details of the the sale and the future plans for the school’s newly acquired lot.
“We are pleased to inform the Lasallian community that after several negotiation attempts, we have finalized the deal that would give DLSU its long overdue land extension,” said University President Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC, who hosted the event along with University Chancellor Dr. Gerardo Janairo.
For almost three years, La Salle has been having meetings with the Board of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and on March 10, DLSU won the rights to the RMSC. It was a tough battle for La Salle as it went against the SM Invesments Corporation and four other parties. The deal was successfully made at the DLSU Henry Sy Sr. Hall Roofdeck, with Suplido and PSC Chairman Ricardo Garcia present.
Under the deal, La Salle and the PSC came to an understanding on five major points of agreement. First, the PSC will not be liable for any accident that may happen in the facility. Second, other schools and local institutions may still use the complex to practice but the resource person will be La Salle. Third, 55 percent of the ticket selling and other revenues shall go to the PSC, while 45 percent will go to La Salle. Fourth, if the Rizal Memorial Stadium will be chosen as a venue for an international competition, the resource person will be the PSC Board. Lastly, La Salle will be responsible in renovating and preserving the ambiance of the Rizal Memorial Stadium and other facilities.
Relatively mixed reactions
The move to add the sports complex as a campus extension was lauded by most of the forum’s attendees. University Student Government President Pram Mengrahajani expressed great excitement in the development. “Limited campus space has hindered the students from making most out of their time in school. I can’t wait to see what DLSU will do with the place,” she said.
Several athletes have also voiced their delight on the impending acquisition of the historic field. Paeng De Guzman, a member of the DLSU Men’s football Team, was happy knowing that his team will finally have a place that they can call home. “Most of the time, we held our trainings in [De La Salle] Zobel. It feels good that such an amazing field will become our home turf,” the starting goalkeeper said in a short interview.
Physical Education Department Chairperson Dr. Janet Mariano mentioned how big of a help the facility is for their cause. She said that her department could now teach a wider range of sports, giving the students more choices for their PE classes.
While reactions were mostly positive, there were some questions raised regarding the purchase of the RMSC. Issues such as the exact figures of the sale and how La Salle was able to generate the funds to buy the lot were brought up the most.
With a larger sports facility or the student body, DLSU plans to add additional classes for FTTEAMS and FTSPORT. According to the Physical Education Department, baseball, bowling, boxing, football, gymnastics, judo, lawn tennis, taekwondo, and track and field classes will be offered starting the first term of the academic year (AY) 2016-2017. Students will also be allowed to use the different courts and stadiums in the RMSC during their free time for either practices or recreational purposes.
The Office for Sports Development (OSD) will be also happy to cater more student–run sports organizations and competitions as the facilities are readily available. The RMSC will be opened to the University’s athletes and students by the start of third term on May 23, 2016.