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Baguio athletic bowl to get P60-M upgrade

BAGUIO CITY -- The Baguio athletic bowl will get another facelift next year with the PHP60 million upgrade of the dilapidated small grandstand.

The amount is bigger than the PHP20 million approved upgrade plan made by the city that was supposed to go into bidding in December this year after the Palarong Panlungsod.

The project will be implemented after the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association meet in March which the city will be hosting, city sports coordinator Gaudencio Gonzales said on Monday.

“But then here comes the offer of the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) to implement the project when everything has been planned. Although this is a much better offer for us,” Gonzales said.

The small grandstand was used to be called a bandstand for being the area of the marching bands that provide music during special events and performances.

Initial plan for the bandstand aside from the additional bleachers are rooms underneath it as it will be elevated to at least give standard ceiling-high rooms below.

Gonzales said the city would be more involved in the planning for the rehabilitation of the bandstand with the inputs of city engineers and sports stakeholders taken into consideration.

“It will not be like the big grandstand,” said Gonzales.

The big grandstand was rehabilitated in 2015 by the DPWH, maintaining the original structure.

Although the seating capacity was increased, only two rooms were made under the bleachers, one at the far end near the swimming pool for the sports office and the other end near the tennis club now used, for the meantime, by the City Tourism Office (CTO).

“We earlier suggested that the space underneath the bleachers was throughout so it can accommodate more offices or rooms for sports groups,” he said.

Only two identical spaces were created at both ends, one of which is his office and the other is intended for athletes’ quarters with showers, comfort rooms and lounge but temporarily used by the CTO.

The improvement of the small grandstand brings the city closer to realizing a sports facility that will cater to the needs of the city athletes after the placement of a rubberized track, the rehabilitation of the Olympic sized pool that officially opened last October 30, the concreting of the space fronting the pools for removable basketball and volleyball courts, among others.

The last is the construction of the multi-purpose sports facility as well as the upgrade of the tennis courts which are being maintained by the Baguio Tennis Club.

Earlier, Paul Rillorta, also of the city tourism office, said the tennis court could have a new surface, a hardcourt and a cover to accommodate volleyball games, instead of a multi-level structure that is costly and could take years to complete.

Other ball events could be staged at the four-court facility, which was a rundown three-court tennis court when it was taken over by the group in the 70s. (PNA)

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