PLM unveils new Elevator

02 September 2009

After nearly four (4) decades of existence, the Gusaling Lacson (GL), earlier named as Gusaling Kanluran and originally called the Engineering Building, is now equipped with an elevator to serve all floors. GL is the highest structure in PLM and is an imposing landmark inside Intramuros visible along the Roxas Blvd. Erected just before the imposition of the height restriction of structures within Intramuros, it stands at 7-storey, with the ground floor (housing the Justo Albert auditorium) equivalent to two (2) floors.

Due to its height, the building was actually designed in the early 1970s with an elevator as its main medium of vertical transport. Due to lack of funds that gripped PLM for quite sometime after it started operating in 1967, the elevator was nixed to complete the construction of the building and introduce said building into service to accommodate the increasing number of enrollees. This decision left the elevator shaft unusable for 37 years. The steep staircase for emergency or secondary use beside the elevator shaft, which is now deeply chafed due to extreme overuse through the years despite constant maintenance, was then utilized as the primary way up- and down-stairs for thousands of PLM scholars studying in the building.

University officials and student leaders flocked to witness the inauguration of this milestone in the life of PLM. President Tamano delivered the welcome remarks and recounted the “story of an elevator.” Students, especially “golden professors” (aged 50 and above), plying the higher floors of the tallest PLM building stand to benefit from this innovation.

PDSPO chief Rolando G. Marasigan explained that this is part of the overarching development plan concepted under the short tenure of President Tamano which barely started in late 2007. A massive development program beneficial to the welfare of the thousands of scholars and other stakeholders, now and beyond, will serve as the legacy of the short presidency of the youngest university president of a major university in the megapolis of Manila.

Observers noted that a few presidents have served the university since the building was erected, with one serving as 3-termer for almost a score, but this need of the PLM community was left unheeded for almost four decades. “This is certainly a legacy project,” they say, “that will be etched in the institutional memory of the University.”

Former Justice Rodolfo G. Palattao was on hand to represent Mayor Alfredo S. Lim during the blessing and inauguration. He presided the cutting of the ribbon right after the unveiling of the marker led by President Tamano. PLM Board of Regents chairman Justice Justo P. Torres Jr. (Ret.) read the dedication of the marker while Rev. Father Dave Clay, University Chaplain, led the benediction and blessings.

University officials and student leaders gamely boarded the first official maiden operation of the elevator right after the ribbon cutting. Manufactured by the famed Otis brand, the elevator has been tested and assessed to be of sound quality. While a maintenance agreement is in place, to prolong its utility, however, the PDSPO chief calls upon all beneficiaries to take care of its use so that future scholars may also avail of the benefits of the elevator.

Related articles:
President Tamano's Accomplishments: Legacy Programs
President Tamano's Accomplishments: Benefits Enhancement Program
President Tamano's Accomplishments: Facilities Enhancement Program
President Tamano's Accomplishments: Technology Enhancement Program
Photojournal: Blessing & inauguration of the Gusaling Lacson's new Elevator