By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

WHAT is hailed as the “new home of the Blazers” is now open with the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde formally unveiling its Benilde Sports and Dorm Building early this week.

A five-storey structure, the Benilde Sports-Dorm Building will be the home of varsity players of the school’s different sports programs such as basketball, volleyball, badminton and swimming. It will likewise feature studios and training rooms for taekwondo and other martial arts, a gym for weight and endurance drills, plus other physical therapy amenities.

In addition for athletes to have access to several athletic facilities, the property is geared towards providing the necessary services for scholars to be more responsive to their academic needs.

Broke ground in 2017, the complex stands on a 4,196.8 square-meter lot in San Isidro Drive corner Dominga Street with the Taft and SDA Campuses as neighbors.

It was designed by internationally recognized Architect Leandro A. Poco of L.A. Poco Architects and Associates.

School officials said in designing the complex they made sure that they incorporated structure and elements consistent for tropical countries, taking into consideration proper natural ventilation and solar orientation for specific areas, fortified by advanced engineering technology.

They also took note that it be “inclusive” for persons with disabilities.

The ground floor of the Dorm Area features an inviting fully furnished lounge. Benildeans who wish to focus on their individual school assignments or conduct group studies can use the open student hall, desktop stations, huddle and audio-visual rooms. The facilities likewise include a fully equipped kitchen and pantry area.

The second to fifth floors house 64 rooms dedicated as living quarters for 147 athletes, 48 artists and 19 academic scholars. Each room, which accommodates four, is complete with huge bunk beds, spacious study tables, shelves and closets and has en banc respective PWD-ready bathrooms. Centralized air conditioning and WiFi connection are likewise available.

The Sports Area, meanwhile, features a 25 m x 16.44 m swimming pool and two sets of basketball courts, dugout rooms, and shower rooms for the teams.

Safety was also considered as the complex is equipped with heat and smoke detectors and a fire sprinkler system. Each floor has its fire hose and extinguishers plus emergency access doors to stairs.

Greeting students and athletes as well as guests at the entrance is the “Path to Glory,” a series of photographs of Benildean athletes taken by Photography Program alumnus Miguel Sy. The exhibition highlights the hardships and honors the efforts of the 21 Blazers teams.

The Sports and Dorm Building will likewise house the offices of the Center for Sports and Development and Dormitory Management.

In addition to athletes and scholars, there will be temporary accommodations for visiting guests such as professors, lecturers, and exchange students from prior and future partnerships with other colleges, universities, non-government organizations, and private corporations.

“In putting up the Sports and Dorm Building, we are sending the message that we commit to nurture our athletes, artists, and scholars to reach their best potential,” said DLS-CSB President Br. Dodo Fernandez, FSC at the launch of the complex on Monday.

“The Sports-Dorm Building will serve as a sports center that can be called the Home of the Blazers. It will be convenient for the athletes. They will not need to travel early in the morning from their respective homes for training. Once done, they return back to the dorm to prepare for school,” he said.