BACOLOD CITY – The construction of an “iconic” museum-auditorium in this city is expected to start in the first quarter of 2021 with more than PHP200 million already downloaded to fund the project.
On Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, who is sourcing the funds from the national government, led the groundbreaking rites for what he considers as a “legacy project for Bacolod”. He recalled that as a young boy, he spent summer here, staying at his grandmother’s house on 21st Street.
The PHP260-million museum-auditorium, poised to become a major tourist attraction in Western Visayas, will rise on a portion of the 8.8-hectare land donated by the Yanson family in Barangay Alijis.
The initial proposed budget was only PHP163 million, but the senator said he was able to source an additional PHP50 million, bringing the current project fund to PHP213 million.
“It’s a momentous occasion today. We proceeded with the groundbreaking for the museum-cultural center for Bacolod,” Zubiri said in a press conference with Mayor Evelio Leonardia held at L’ Fisher Chalet.
He added that “after three years of planning and discussion”, the project is finally becoming a reality.
“It now has a budget. They will proceed, the project has been bid out (by the Department of Public Works and Highways),” the senator said.
Zubiri said the project is “dedicated to all the people of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental” and “pays tribute to the world-class artistry of our Negrense brothers and sisters”.
Leonardia said that from the start of his talks with Zubiri about the project, the senator told him that he doesn’t just want a simple museum, but he wants to help “build something iconic for Bacolod”.
“Not only that Senator Migz fulfills his promise, he gives even more,” the mayor added.
DPWH-Western Visayas Regional Director Leah Delfinado said after the groundbreaking, the contractor will work on the detailed architectural and engineering design which is expected to be finished in two to three months.
“At the same time, they can start with the ground preparation. Our target for the contractor to start the actual construction is February to March. The duration is 385 calendar days or a little more than a year,” Delfinado said.
Architect Leonilo Ramon Lichauco of the Manila-based LG+V Architect/Planners said the design of the two-structure edifice is “inspired by nature”, with the top view showing leaf-shaped buildings connected to each other.
“The beauty of the design is, it’s not a common museum. To get to the other levels, we used a wide ramp where you can display all the artworks of various artists here in Bacolod. It’s person with disability (PWD)-friendly all the way up to the different levels and all the way down to the sub-level,” Lichauco said, adding that the exterior metal panels will be carved with a sugarcane pattern.
The auditorium, which can seat up to 540 people, will also have function rooms underneath that can be utilized for various events. (PNA)