The City of Dumaguete and Foundation University have signed a Memorandum of Agreement that would allow its senior architecture students and volunteers to construct a multi-purpose hall for the victims of the 2011 Tropical Storm Sendong, who are now resettled at the Core Shelter Housing Project in barangay Bajumpandan.

Officials of Dumaguete City and Foundation University pose behind a model of the multi-purpose hall to be constructed at the Core Shelter Housing Project in barangay Bajumpandan which will be built by senior architecture students and volunteers. From left, City Administrator William Ablong, FU Dean of Student Life Marlon Tanilon, Department of Architecture and Fine Arts instructors Rene Armogenia and Anna Lee Koosmann and Dumaguete City Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria. (FU Photo)

In ceremonies held last Thursday at the Lawak Kauswagan at the main campus, Dumaguete City Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria and Dean of Student Life Marlon Tanilon sealed the deal to pave the way for the construction to begin later this month.

The building, estimated to cost about half a million pesos, is designed by the architecture students in consultation with the end users.
Estudio Damgo is a design-build program where architecture students gain first-hand knowledge researching, designing, and building with local materials for communities in need. Anna Lee Koosmann, lead instructor and project leader of Estudio Damgo II, said this experience will influence their careers while benefiting the local community through the provision of a well-designed structure that showcases cultural relevance, innovation, and sustainability.

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Foundation University Dean of Student Life Marlon Tanilon exchanges handshakes with Dumaguete City Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria after the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement for Estudio Damgo II. (FU Photo)

This is the second project of Estudio Damgo. Last year, the architecture students built a day care center in sitio Dungga, barangay Malaunay in Valencia town. The experience of working for Estudio Damgo won for one student, Von Jovi Biala, the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) award.
One unique feature of this year’s project is an aquaponics system, where the 100-household community will manage rainwater runoff and use it to grow fish and vegetables.

“Estudio Damgo does more than construct buildings. We’re teaching Filipino architecture students a sustainable approach to design and construction, which in-turn, trains to sustain a community,” Koosmann said.

Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria lauded the initiative of Foundation University in embarking on this student-led project that would make Dumaguete a better community to live in. He said he hopes there will be more partnerships in the future.

Engr. Marlon Tanilon, dean of student life, said this project is part of the University’s Corporate Social Responsibility programs. “An institution cannot continue to exist without helping the community, he said. (Paul Edward Bajas)