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Sorsogon National High School main building to rise again soon

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the new building of the Sorsogon National High School (SNHS) will soon emerge from the rubble of the fire that gutted the century-old building of the biggest secondary school in the province.

Sorsogon National High School fire
Photo posted by Ambin Lee in Sorsogon National High School Facebook group
Rehabilitation of the damaged building started last week following the bidding process conducted by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the awarding of contract using the Disaster Risk Reducation and Management (DRRM) funds of the national government, said Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) allocated some P44 million for the construction, the release of which was expedited upon the request of Sen. Escudero and her mother, Cong. Evie Escudero.

The Escuderos said that they want to hasten the completion of the building in time for the class opening in June next year.

Some 24 classrooms will be constructed to replace the destroyed building. However, the facade of the edifice would be retained to preserve its historical value and importance, Escudero said.

Cong. Escudero said she wanted so much to see the building reconstructed soonest in response to the clamour of her fellow Sorsoganons especially by the co-alumni of her late husband, Cong. Salvador “Tatay Sonny” Escudero III who was a member of SNHS Batch 1957.

Normally, construction of such type would take about one year, but the senator requested the DepEd and the contractor to fast-track the construction so that the classrooms could be used next school year.

The SNHS main building was gutted by a pre-dawn fire February 15 this year. An official report by the Bureau of Fire Protection stated that the blaze was caused by an electrical short circuit in the Cashier’s Office. BFP officials placed the cost of damages at P9.4 million. The building is one of the major landmarks in the city.

Photos of the Sorsogon National High School fire

Historian and author Dr. Stephen Henry Totanes, in a heritage lecture during the Kasanggayahan Festival, said the SNHS building was constructed in early 1900 and was inaugurated in 1905 by then Governor-General Howard Taft together with Alice Roosevelt, daughter of then US President Theodore Roosevelt.

During the Second World War, the building was converted into a garrison by the Japanese forces and was burned during the liberation period, historical records showed. It was rebuilt after the war. Since then, it endured various damages from typhoons and underwent repairs until it was hit by the early morning fire. (MAL/JJJP/Office of Sen. Escudero/PIA5)

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