Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan’s “Campus of the Future” is a go.
On August 20, 2021, Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan (Xavier Ateneo ) and Cebu Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) inked a Memorandum of Agreement to develop the new XU Masterson Campus in Upper Balulang, Cagayan de Oro dubbed as “Campus of the Future” and University Township.
Fr Mars P. Tan SJ, Xavier Ateneo President, signed the memorandum of agreement with Jose R. Soberano III, CLI Chairman and CEO, with Engr. Lennie K. Ong, Xavier Ateneo Treasurer, and Jose Franco B. Soberano, CLI Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, as witnesses.
Provisions in the agreement prepared by Xavier University and endorsed by Jesuit leaderships in the Philippines and in Rome were approved by the Vatican after a thorough two-year review process, including the Campus Master Plan developed by the XU Board of Trustees over the previous five years.
“I am pleased to share with the entire Xavier Ateneo community that the biggest project to be undertaken by the university, the construction of the “Campus of the Future,” has finally received the seal of approval from the Vatican,” Fr. Tan announced in a memo posted 20 August 2021 at the XU website.
“After a series of stakeholder consultations, dialogues, and weighing of the pros and cons, Father Provincial of the Jesuits endorsed the plan to the Superior General of the Jesuits in Rome, who after careful review and discernment with his counselors, endorsed the plan to the Vatican for its approval. The long wait for final decision only showed the amount of time devoted by the Church authorities to review and study the project.”
A series of consultations with the various stakeholders were conducted in 2019, with XU’s employees, students, alumni, parents, CDO officials, clergy, and other members of the CDO community, providing a venue for dialogues and conversations on the proposed campus and identifying the challenges and risks as well as generating possible solutions.
“The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, having attentively examined the documents submitted, grants the request in conformity with the petition,” the Letter of Approval from the Vatican said.
“This is good news for those who truly value education and formation of our young people and I am excited and happy because this will fulfill Xavier Ateneo’s dream to give the best Jesuit education possible in the region and in Mindanao,” Fr Tan noted. “First-class education needs first-class building and campus design.”
“We envision an academically stronger university in this new campus – one that will facilitate learning in the new normal and at the same time produce men and women for others that can make relevant contributions to Mindanao,” added Fr. Tan, also known as an environmentalist of note.
After the necessary permits are secured, development of the campus is scheduled to begin in 2Q 2022, with the Masterson Campus scheduled to open in 2024. Prior to that, the current campus will still continue operating in downtown CDO. Meantime, CLI also targets to complete Phase 1 of its Manresa Town development over the same period.
The Masterson Campus
In a disclosure posted with the Philippine Stock Exchange dated 20 August 2021, publicly listed Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) said the 21-hectare XU Masterson Campus, is envisioned to catalyze development in Northern Mindanao with a Sustainable and New Normal-ready Campus Masterplan – characterized by an abundance of space, green areas, wide roads, dedicated bike lanes, campus-wide wireless connectivity, and healthy and adaptable learning facilities for virtual and physical classes.
“Masterson Campus” will be dedicated in honor of the great Jesuit visionary Fr William Masterson SJ who foresaw the potential of Manresa in the 1960s. This new campus is fit for the new normal as it provides innovative and smart components for synchronous and asynchronous learning, pioneering research, artistic expression, and whole-person formation.
The masterplan of the XU Masterson Campus will blend seamlessly with the adjacent Manresa Town to be developed by Cebu Landmasters, a 14.3-hectare mixed-use university town with generous open spaces providing XU students convenient and safe residential options, easy access to commercial establishments and future-ready offices. This University Town concept creates strong synergies which will benefit both XU and the surrounding uptown CDO community.
The 25-hectare forest reserve and animal sanctuaries will be retained in the uptown property.
Click here to view a video of the proposed Masterson Campus.
XU’s Centennial Celebration
The College of Agriculture facilities (e.g. demonstration farms, workshops, and field laboratories, among others) currently located in Manresa are planned to eventually be transferred to XU’s El Gaucho property in Upper Bugo-Upper Puerto.
After considering several national real-estate players, the Board selected property developer Cebu Landmasters Inc (CLI) as its partner in developing the proposal for the new campus project.
CLI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jose Soberano III said the listed company is honored to be part of this game-changing project for both XU and Cagayan de Oro.
“Both CLI and XU share the same goal – this new campus and university town is truly for the betterment of the people of Cagayan de Oro City,” Soberano said. “This development will serve as a key catalyst for both the education and economy in the entire region.”
The Masterson Campus is situated close to XU’s 12-hectare Basic Education Complex in Pueblo de Oro, allowing the integration of campuses for greater efficiency and modernization.
By School Year (SY) 2022-2023, the consolidated XUGS will be fully integrated into the XU Basic Education Complex in the Pueblo Campus, along with the Pre-school, Junior High, and Senior High School (Academic Track and ALGCIT). XU officially moved its XUGS Macasandig campus to the Pueblo Campus last May 28, 2021.
This would make access by all XUGS pupils easier to the Xavier Ateneo Sports Centre with its track oval, seven-lane swimming pool, and various game courts, as well as the Masterson Campus along Fr. William Masterson Avenue.
This proposed masterplan is in line with the Jesuit university’s strategic plan to be the top university in Mindanao and among the best in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, particularly as Xavier Ateneo moves forward to celebrating its centennial in 2033.∎