In August 2019, the new 22-storey Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Building, by far the tallest of the University’s structures and the first one to have been situated outside the walls of the Sampaloc campus since the end of World War II, will welcome incoming Grade 11 students as its first occupants. The Frassati Building, named after the 20th-century Blessed who is now the Patron of the Senior High School, will feature, among many others, smart classrooms in the tenth to fourteenth floors, a two-storey library, a Chapel, a gym, an auditorium, and computer and science laboratories. These facilities, according to Senior High School Acting Principal Mary Erika N. Bolaños, PhD, will show that the goal of the structure is “the holistic formation of learners,” who are now provided with a home that “connects all members to each other.” For added security, turnstiles activated by tapping one’s identification card will be used. A connecting footbridge will also be opened later in the year to facilitate the safe access of the Senior High School community to the main campus.

According to Facilities Management Office Director Fr. Dexter A. Austria, O.P., among the things to look forward to in the building are the reduction of single-use plastics and containers, as an initial contribution of UST to “promoting a zero-waste environment culture,” in response to efforts for environmental sustainability, such as those echoed in Laudato Si. “We want to start the culture of lessening the waste we produce, so the concessionaires in the Frassati Building will not be distributing utensils and straws, especially single-use plastics. Instead, the students will be using their own metal utensils and straws. In turn, there will also be dishwashing facilities in the building that students can use to clean their utensils.” The fifth floor will be devoted to the school canteen.

The building began construction in October 2017, and the topping-off ceremony was held in March 2019. Companies that were involved in the project are Datem, Inc., Casas+Architects, Inc., and Design Coordinates, Inc.

In due time, the building will also house the TomasINNO Technology Business Incubation (TBI) Center, the Educational Technology Center, Santo Tomas e-Service Providers, and the Institute of Information and Computing Sciences.

Photo Credits: Casas Architects and Engr. Albert Surla, MSc