The Department of Education (DepEd) has turned over the newly-restored two-story Gabaldon building of the Laua-an Central School to the municipality of Laua-an in a ceremony on Monday.
The original building was constructed in 1920 but burnt down during World War II.
The Japanese Imperial Army occupied the province in 1942.
The school was replaced with a wooden structure in 1946 that lasted until 1975, recalled Provincial Board Member Egidio Elio in an interview on Tuesday.
Elio chairs the Committee on History and Cultural Heritage of the Provincial Board, which lobbied for a PHP21-million fund for the renovation of the heritage structure in 2016 before the office of Senator Loren Legarda when she was still chairperson of the Committee on Finance.
“The Gabaldon building restoration is intended to preserve the heritage structure in our municipality,” Elio said.
The fund was made available through the DepEd in 2019 while restoration works started on May 2020 and were completed after two years.
The restored building has eight classrooms, two offices, and a multi-purpose hall.
“It is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, in Western Visayas,” Elio said.
Antique Rep. Antonio Agapito Legarda, Laua-an Mayor Aser Baladjay, and DepEd officials graced the ceremony.
A key to the building was turned over by the local government unit and the DepEd to student government officials.
Around 500 learners of the central school are expected to utilize the additional classrooms.
The renovation is a fitting gift for the school’s centennial year on May 13. (PNA)