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UP President Alfredo Pascual represented by Vice President for Development Prof. Elvira Zamora led the groundbreaking of the New Academic Center in UPCM last April 11, 2016. Also gracing the momentous affair with Dean Agnes D. Mejia were UP-Manila Chancellor Carmencita D. Padilla, PGH Director Gerardo Legaspi, Former Deans of the UPCM Dr. Marita V. T. Reyes and Dr. Alberto B. Roxas. Meanwhile, Dr. Rody G. Sy, Head of Resource Generation Office and concurrent President & Chairman of the UP Medical Alumni Fund and the leading figure in the conceptualization and gathering of funds for this flagship project gave the Opening Remarks welcoming the faculty and guests which also included the Deans from the different Colleges of UP Manila, Chairmen of the different Basic Science and Clinical Departments and Heads of the different Units. Dr. Sy also gave a backgrounder on the new academic center. The program was highlighted by the laying of the time capsule which contained:
The new UPCM Academic Center replaces the previous Basic Science Lecture Rooms (BSLR) where LU3 and 4 classes used to be conducted. The old BSLR was constructed back in the early 1960s and had undergone repeated renovations. The new Academic Center will be a seven-story building with a basement. It will have 2 auditoria that can accommodate at least 200 students in each auditorium located on the first to the third floors. It will have 37 rooms of various sizes that will accommodate from 8 to 20 students each or up to 40 to 80 students when merged. This will provide facilities for breakout sessions required in the Organ System Integration (OSI) way of teaching. In addition, the sixth floor will be dedicated to Clinical Simulation Skills Laboratory where students, residents and fellows will have their initiation on special procedures prior to handling actual patients. The Skills Lab is a joint project of the UPCM with PGH with the latter providing the mannequins and other electronic equipment for this unit. There will also be a Special Events Hall on the seventh floor that can accommodate 500 persons for special functions.
The total estimated cost of the Academic Center is two hundred fifty million pesos, seventy-five percent of the pledges came from UPCM alumni either as individual, family or batch commitments. The rest came from philanthropist-friends and patients. The project is a great testament of a UPCM alumni paying forward to his alma mater and thus providing better facilities for many future generations of medical students admitted to the UP College of Medicine.
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