The Ateneo Senior High Campus Perspective designed by Archt. John Immanuel R. Palma.

By Gracielle Deanne Tubera

 Ateneo de Davao University has conducted its groundbreaking ceremonies for the Senior High School campus last February 15 at McArthur Highway, Bangkal, Davao City. The Senior High School campus, which is set to open on May 2019, follows Pope Francis’ environmental directives in the encyclical “Laudato Si” (On Care for Our Common Home). The campus is already touted as the country’s first environmentally responsible school.


Ateneo de Davao’s Senior High School campus sits on a five-hectare site that is accessible through the McArthur Highway. According to its lead architect, Archt. John Immanuel R. Palma, “the campus was planned to be a model campus for social and environmental responsibility.”


The Senior High School will be comprised of four buildings. The Main Building, which will face the McArthur Highway, will have a Town Center that features commercial spaces and food courts that will cater to the needs of the tenants of the school’s 200-bed capacity dormitory, and the campus’ surrounding community. The Main Building will also shield the Academic Buildings and campus courtyards from direct sunlight.


Connected to the Main Building are the Academic Buildings, which will feature 90 classrooms, and house a maximum of 1500 students. The classrooms are envisioned to integrate ecological awareness to its students by incorporating classroom designs that consider solar and wind orientations, and harness natural light and prevailing wind.

From Left to Right:  Atty. Rene Alexis Villarente (Barangay Talomo Proper Councilor), Ms. Nicole M. Natividad (Ateneo SHS Student Council President), Mr. Ricardo P. Enriquez (Senior High Director), Rev. Fr. Joel E. Tabora, S.J. (Ateneo de Davao University President ), Mr. Benjamin A. Lizada (Ateneo de Davao Board Chair), Engr. Ludwig Van Ledesma (LVL Construction President), and Archt. John Immanuel R. Palma (Principal Architect) pose for a photo during the Senior High School Grounbreaking Ceremony last February 15 . Photo by Aivy Rose Villarba

The campus will also feature vertical gardens to provide additional cooling mechanisms for the school buildings. The vertical gardens were also designed to offset at least 20% of the campus’ carbon footprint. The campus architects are also hoping to achieve 100% solar gains from its solar panel installation on the buildings’ roof.


Other notable features of the Senior High School facilities are its 14 technical laboratories, a 1000-seater auditorium, a library, a sports center with a 50-meter swimming pool, and indoor basketball courts. The Ateneo SHS campus will also feature three different campus gardens: a botanical garden to serve academic purposes, a main garden that will surround the campus’ auditorium and chapel, and the great lawn, a landscaped avenue linking all four buildings of the campus.


To help mitigate flooding at the campus, the architects have designed a rainwater catchment system that aims to catch and reuse rainwater for non-potable purposes.

New Ateneo de Davao University Bangkal Campus. The blessing and groundbreaking of the new Ateneo Senior High School (SHS) Campus was held in Bangkal, Davao City, on 15 February 2017. On hand for the ceremonies were: (L-R): Engr. Ludwig Van A. Ledesma (President, LV Ledesma Construction), Atty. Rene Alexis P. Villarente (Councilor, Talomo Proper), Ms. Nicole M. Natividad (President, Ateneo SHS Student Council), Engr. Bendor A. Calamba (Barangay Captain, Talomo Proper), Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ (President, ADDU), Mr. Ricardo P. Enriquez (Director, ADDU Senior High School), Archt. John Immanuel R. Palma (Principal Architect), and Mr. Benjamin A. Lizada (Board Chair, ADDU). Photo by Aivy Rose Villarba.

Ecoteneo policies and guidelines, that mandate waste segregation, campus greening, and plastic prohibition in the school, will also be strictly implemented in Ateneo de Davao’s newest campus.


Fr. Joel E. Tabora, president of Ateneo de Davao University, says that the Senior High School’s facilities “will help mold its students to become environmentally aware and ecologically responsible learners.”


The Senior High School is envisioned to take education to the next level of environmental awareness. Shaped by the needs, goals, and ideals of Ateneo de Davao’s students, faculty, administration and staff, the design of the new Senior High School campus creates a contemporary, sustainable, and transformative learning environment that will redefine pedagogies.

Recorded Live Video during the Ateneo SHS Campus Blessing and Groundbreaking Ceremonies

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