Wednesday, December 3, 2008

City Gym – City Hall’s next big thing?

The city government has eyed building a big city gymnasium conceived many years ago, but it has to be reevaluated, Mayor Florencio T. Flores Jr. said this week.

Flores said in an interview Tuesday an architect, a native of the province, has initially designed a 10,000-seater gymnasium previously to be located in a site along the diversion road.

He said years back, based on costs of materials then it was estimated to cost at least P200 million.

He said it would be a venue that could accommodate a PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) game with air conditioning and modern equipment such as four-side monitors and scoreboards.

But Flores said this has taken a back seat for now since the P225-million public market-bus terminal-commercial arcade complex is the priority.

“After that big project, we might be able to proceed with that,” he told this reporter.

He said they eyed the city gymnasium project to upgrade the city’s capacity to accommodate big events.

But he said they are not in a hurry in catering to big events because the city still lacks facilities to house visitors like hotels and inns.

“We still have to pass on to Valencia some of our accommodation needs because we don’t have enough,” he said.

Flores cited the recent hosting of the Provincial Board Members Leagues of the Philippines last month as an example when there was a shortage of “presentable” hotel rooms for visitors.

But he clarified that by creating events in the city they are showing to the private sector for the need to invest on the city’s hotel capacity.

Flores said aside from the public market complex the city government has no other “big infrastructure projects”, only small projects such as roads among others.

He clarified that it might not be possible to open the public market before the end of this year as reported by this paper earlier.

But he said the contractor is on schedule to finish it early next year and the two other phases within the nine months extension it was granted.

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