USJ-R to build fifth campus in Ormoc City
CEBU CITY – The fifth campus of the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) is set to rise in Leyte province by 2025.
This was confirmed through a groundbreaking ceremony held on November 3, 2023 at Barangay Bantigue, Ormoc City. It was attended by Augustinian Recollect friars, project contractors, USJ-R alumni, and key government officials from the Ormoc City Government.
Three locations were considered to expand USJ-R but Ormoc City was chosen. Fray Anthony Morillo, OAR, one of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno councilors, shared that the Order of Augustinian Recollects chose Ormoc City because of its strategic location in Eastern Visayas. It has ports which link to multiple provinces in regions 7 and 8 as well as parts of northern Mindanao. The city is also accessible by land to cities and towns in the region. He continued that building a university in the region would also lessen the costs that parents incur versus sending their children to big cities like Cebu and Manila. With these in mind, the site was chosen as the ideal area to expand the Recollects educational apostolate.
Atty. Jasper Lucero, Ormoc City acting mayor, stated that the city government is celebrating not only the future physical structure of the university but also the promise of a brighter future for their youth. He is looking forward to the development of well-rounded individuals who will contribute positively to society.
“This partnership exemplifies the shared vision of creating a brighter future for the youth of Ormoc through empowering them with knowledge and Catholic Christian values that will guide them,” said USJ-R President Fray Eduardo Celiz Jr., OAR.
USJ-R Ormoc Campus has a land area of 14.76 hectares which will be divided into three zones namely (1) educational zone, (2) sports facilities zone, and (3) religious formation zone. These reflect the USJ-R brand of education which puts emphasis on holistic development — mind, body, and soul.
The overall design of the campus is inspired by Spanish colonial architecture. It will also include elements similar to the design of USJ-R Main Campus in Cebu. Once completed, there will be four buildings for college, one building for TESDA-accredited programs, libraries and laboratories.
Aspiring to be a venue for big sports events in the region, the new campus is also designed to have a grandstand, oval track, gymnasiums, 9-lane swimming pool, 2 basketball/tennis courts, Olympic torch, and amphitheater. There will also be a female and male dormitory.
Adding to the aesthetics, the school will have multiple lawns, gardens and promenade which will feature Philippine native flowering trees such as pink tabebuia, flame tree, Bukidnon golden trumpet tree, Palawan cherry blossom, pink mempat, and banaba.
The first phase project is expected to be completed in a few years by Premium Megastructures Inc., an Ormoc-based construction company. Aside from providing a new option for higher education learning, the USJ-R Ormoc project is also expected to generate jobs for the locals.
Masteral programs may start upon completion of the first building in 2025 or 2026. These offerings, though implemented in Ormoc, are still under the USJ-R Main Campus programs.
USJ-R is one of the schools in the Philippines owned by the Order of Augustinian Recollects (OAR). The group of OAR priests in the Philippines, Indonesia, Africa, and Guam is called the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.
At present, it has two existing campuses in Cebu City and one in Balamban. USJ-R Quadricentennial Campus, along the country’s oldest street, is still under construction since December 2021.
To accommodate its growing student population and enrich the Recollects educational apostolate, USJ-R continues to expand its operations from central to eastern Visayas.
Photo Credits: University of San Jose-Recoletos Facebook page.