Groundbreaking ceremony held for the new Ateneo Senior High School Building
The groundbreaking ceremony and time capsule laying for the Ateneo Senior High School (ASHS) building took place on December 8, 2015. The new building will rise on the portion of the Ateneo High School (AHS) football field adjacent to the Tanghalang Onofre Pagsanghan and the AHS cafeteria.
High School Principal Carmela Oracion PhD led the ceremonies and welcomed University President Fr. Jett Villarin SJ, Vice President for Basic Education Fr. Tony Pabayo SJ, and other administrators, faculty, staff, and students from the Ateneo de Manila Basic Education unit.
“The Ateneo Senior High School is new territory for us, specifically opening our doors to 100 scholars and beginning co-education in this level. Like the Virgin Mary, we do not fully comprehend the full dimension of our mission yet, but we shall continue to work very hard to prepare for the coming school year,” Dr. Oracion said as she explained that the day chosen for the groundbreaking - the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary - was no accident.
“We celebrate our Blessed Mother’s unique role in the mystery of redemption. We are inspired by her full cooperation with God, even though as a human being she didn’t fully understand how all this was possible,” she said.
University President Fr. Jett Villarin SJ
In his message, Fr. Villarin thanked all those who worked tirelessly towards the creation and implementation of the Ateneo Senior High School (ASHS) despite the ambiguities that came with it. “If you ask me, things are not clear,” said Fr. Jett, “but despite the ambiguity and the ambivalence, we decided, ‘Lord, itutuloy namin ‘to. Hindi malinaw, gayun pa man itutuloy namin ito sa pananalig na nariyan Ka. All we do is according to Your dream, Your will for us.”
Following Fr. Jett’s message, AHS Associate Principal for Formation Fr. Jboy Gonzales SJ led the groundbreaking ceremony, which included the blessing of the grounds, the time capsule laying, and the ceremonial shoveling.
Fr. Jboy Gonzales, Fr. Tony Pabayo, and Fr. Jett Villarin lower the time capsule.
This was then followed by a short message from AHS Grade 10 Batch Representative Ymanjego Buenaventura, who spoke on behalf of the pioneering batch of Ateneans who will use the ASHS building in school year 2016-2017. “We have faith and hope,” he said. “We have faith that this new endeavor, this new curriculum, this new system will help us learn better and be more equipped for the future. And we have hope that this structure will not only be a physical venue, but a home where we can be nurtured and where we can nurture others in terms of intellect, talent, and virtues.”
VP for Basic Education Fr. Tony Pabayo, SJ during the ceremonial shoveling.
Vice President for Basic Education Fr. Tony Pabayo capped the event by saying, “nang pinag-uusapan namin ang K to 12, sabi ng marami, ‘Father ang hirap hirap pag-usapan ang buong K to 12 lalo na ang senior high school kung walang gusali.’ So finally, this will be our home, a home for at least 1,800 students.”
Construction on the Ateneo Senior High School complex is expected to be completed in time for school year 2016-2017, which starts in June 2016.