TACLOBAN CITY – Bidding for the construction of the calamity-resilient classrooms in Leyte’s second district has already started and actual works is expected to start soon.
Engineer Carlos Veloso of the second engineering district of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), said their office has already opened bids for the second batch of school buildings to be constructed in identified schools in the towns of Tunga, Tabon-tabon, Pastrana, Burauen and Carigara. Another set of bids for nine school buildings is set to be open within the month.

Veloso said these school buildings will follow a new calamity-resilient design to ensure that it can withstand winds of up to 300 kilometer per hour “Lessons from super typhoon Yolanda and with the changing climate is to build stronger school buildings for our children,” he said. A total of 256 classrooms in Leyte’s second district are being targeted for rehabilitation or reconstruction by the 2nd Leyte Engineering District. Partially damaged classrooms were given priority for immediate repair within the 76 areas in various municipalities of Leyte’s second district identified and assessed by the DPWH.

Veloso said that constructing a resilient classroom would now cost to a million compare to the previous cost of P780, 000. Veloso said that the office will enforce strict monitoring of the school buildings to be constructed to ensure that it follows the new calamity-resilient specifications. The new design for school buildings will have bigger footing or base and thicker beams and columns. It now requires a tie beam even for a single-story school. The Department of Education’s answer to strong typhoons is a combination of steel truss roofing, roof framing support that uses J-bolts, thicker roofing sheets and ridge roll, thicker and more reinforcing bars or rebars for roof beams, and a drop ceiling.

The pre-2014 design uses steel rafters for roof framing, teck screws for framing support, and a cathedral type ceiling. The basic features include concrete and smooth finish flooring, smooth plastered walls, painted walls and ceiling, a complete set of windows, two entrances with doors for each classroom, complete electrical wires and fixtures, built-in curved chalkboard, ramps that comply with the Accessibility Law and toilets.(AHLETTE C. REYES)