Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Building Renovations Update - Open Thread

DE sent an email (which I have copied into the comments of this post) regarding building renovation plans.

Your thoughts...



Blogger tj said...


I am writing to share some detailed news about our upcoming renovations and building plans. I apologize for the length of this message but there is a lot to share.

Lately space in Boalt Hall has become more valuable than gold (have you been watching the price of gold?). In the last four years the number of faculty and staff has grown by more than 25%. Our course offerings have expanded, necessitating more and different sized classrooms. Student journals and law school Centers have proliferated. All this growth has pushed us past the bursting point. We are in the middle of making changes that will allow us to accommodate nearly all of this growth, but there is so much going on that it's becoming hard to keep track. Hence, I want to fill you in on the many projects that are either underway, or are taxiing down the runway. And for those of you who weren't here in 2005 or 2006, I want to tell you about the projects we've already completed.

The biggest news is that in response to our need for more space the UC Board of Regents has given us the green light to move forward with a number of internal renovation projects, including the creation of a new student center, and with our design for a South Addition. I’d like to share with you our plans as we currently know them and talk a little about what you can expect to happen in the next few months. Once we get renderings of the designs we'll create a website so that you can see what the new space is going to look like and be able to watch our progress over the summer.

Our architects (Ratcliff) are emphasizing green, sustainable design in all of our projects. We will be using recycled and recyclable materials whenever possible, will be purchasing many materials locally, and will try to meet exceptionally high sustainability standards in the South Addition building. With the help and support of some of your fellow Boalt students we also plan to seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for this project. Right now we are keeping our fingers crossed for LEED Gold.

*Summer Projects*
Our summer plans are ambitious, but will significantly improve the quality of student space and classrooms. Some of these projects will be completed by August 15, others will take a bit longer. Everything is on a turbo-charged schedule that will begin when we start demolition in early May. (Note that until after graduation, this will occur only at night, so as not to interfere with exam taking/studying). Our plans include:

1. Rooms 13 and 14: We will renovate interior finishes and lighting, (say your farewells to the checkerboard vinyl floor) create more efficient and attractive layouts, install new desks and movable chairs (currently these rooms have dilapidated, fixed seating) and install basic AV equipment. Completion: August 15

2. Room 140: This room will undergo the most dramatic change, becoming our moot court room as well as a classroom. We'll install all new furniture, wall and floor coverings, and lighting. The front of the room will have a bench, jury box, clerk’s box, an area for counsel, and AV equipment suitable for courtroom use. We’ll upgrade ventilation and install air conditioning as well. Completion: October 15

3. Room 145: We will install new furniture to create a more efficient, fixed layout that allows us to use the room for 30 person small sections; upgrade ventilation and install air conditioning. Completion: August 15

4. Room 170: This space will be transformed into the /Koret Interactive Learning Center/, a video conferencing facility that will double as a 62 person classroom. This project is made possible by a $1.5 million gift from the Koret Foundation. Completion: August 15

5. West Basement: The current west basement will be renovated, using a new, Tekneon glass wall panel system, to accommodate a Student Center. It will house 12 law journals, 5 shared group offices for student organizations, 2 “hoteling” spaces that can be reserved by students for meetings, a kitchenette and printer/copy room, and a large, student lounge that looks out onto the (soon to be renovated and expanded) West Terrace. Completion: October 15

6. West Terrance: The current west porch and retaining wall will be removed to make way for a much larger porch and terrace that will extend approximately 20 feet into College Plaza. The new space will be large enough to accommodate benches, tables and chairs. The terraced stairs will also be suitable for seating. The area will have wifi access as well. Completion: January, 2009?

7. 4th and 5th floors of Simon Hall: Demolition of the interior walls will begin in early May, with construction of faculty offices to take place over the summer. We’ll be adjusting the hallways a bit to make the area seem more welcoming. Completion: August 15

8. Upgrade ventilation for the building: Although we cannot gut the building and replace our ancient ventilation system, Taylor Engineering has come up with a plan to remedy some of our most difficult ventilation problems. They will be working on ventilation throughout the summer. Completion: August 15, though there will be ongoing work over the course of our other construction project.

We'll be in hyper-drive this summer finishing all these projects, but we expect most of the renovations to be fairly routine. The complexity is in the number of projects, not the substance.

*South Addition*
The South Addition will add 55,000 square feet of much needed space to the Law Building. We hope to break ground on the South Addition in September of this year. Right now our architects are working on schematic designs for the South Addition. The objective in schematics is to arrive at a defined, feasible concept, while still keeping open some alternative solutions. Currently Ratcliff is preparing plans that show the following arrangement of rooms on the building site:

1. Basement 2 level, which has no natural light, will house library compact shelving and study space.

2. Basement 1 will house multiple classrooms and clinics—note that even though the B1 level is underground it will have a lot of natural light from a 20 foot wide light slot.

3. A smaller, ground level structure, which will include one large classroom (in the middle), with a large café on one side and casual, lounge study/meeting space on the other. Both the café and the lounge will have large, glass doors that open out onto large patios.

We envision a green roof that can be partially occupied, although the layout is yet to be determined. As part of this plan we also want to renovate the library stacks on levels 4, 5, 6 to create sky lighted office or meeting space, but we do not yet know whether this falls within our budget.

*Projects Already Completed or In Progress*:

* Main Reading Room (summer '05)
* Conversion of tiered classroom 115 into 3 seminar rooms (summer '06)
* Renovation of 100, 105, 110 145 (summer '07)
* Renovation of various restrooms (summer '07)
* Renovation of offices on 3rd floor of Boalt and Simon for
student identity groups (winter break '08)
* Creation of new CDO headquarters on Simon 2 (near Registrar's
office) (May 1 '08)
* Movement of Admissions and Financial Aid to temporary quarters
at Center Street (May 1 '08)

*Rental Space*
Despite our best-laid plans, no scenario we can develop in the foreseeable future meets all of our identified program needs. The projects we have already done, the upcoming summer projects, and the South Addition fulfill our classroom, faculty office, student and library requirements, but leave unresolved our need for more office space to house members of the law school staff, adjunct and visiting faculty, fellows and other members of the law school community. We are enlisting the aid of a space planner to help us use our existing space in Boalt Hall more effectively, but we will also have to rent more space to accommodate our rapid growth. Our current plan, subject to a variety of factors out of our control, is to rent approximately 40,000 square feet in a building with panoramic views at 2850 Telegraph Avenue. This would allow us to consolidate many of our operations into a single location. We would have a frequent shuttle to carry people between the two Law buildings. At the moment this looks like the most viable option for a second law school campus.

*Stay Tuned*
We hope we'll have our Law Projects website up soon with renderings, photographs and descriptions of our various projects. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me or Associate Dean for Capital Projects [KVH] with questions, concerns, or ideas. We'd love to hear your thoughts.

If you have read this far, I commend your stamina and thank you for your attention.

Warm regards,

4/09/2008 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who votes that the West Basement won't be completed by October 15? Me! Me!

4/09/2008 8:35 PM  
Blogger tj said...

Just to clarify: 145 is Booth, and 170 is the locker room. But correct me if I'm wrong...

4/09/2008 8:39 PM  
Blogger McWho said...

isn't 145 that smaller room next to 140?

4/09/2008 8:42 PM  
Blogger tj said...

I think you're right McWho. But I thought they were going to be converting Booth into a flat-floored convention center space with access directly to the courtyard.

4/09/2008 8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, McWho is correct. 145 is the smaller room next to 140.

I think air conditioning in 145 is a good idea (those fans are annoying). However, the furniture is new and nice in that room. And doesn't it already accommodate 30 person small sections?

4/09/2008 8:49 PM  
Blogger matt said...

As someone whose father did commercial construction, the deadlines look quite ambitious to me. And delays are inevitable. So we'll see if they get it all done when they say they will. (It would certainly be nice if they did - particularly the 15 August stuff, so we can, uh, actually start on time in the fall.) I'm excited to see it all finished though - especially the west terrace.

Also, the projected completion times for the south building in the current courtyard were noticeably absent.

4/09/2008 8:56 PM  
Blogger Boris said...

Can someone clarify what the locker situation will be like next year?

4/09/2008 9:33 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Related to the question of what the locker room will look like, who was the valedictorian in the graduation episode of Saved by the Bell? Jesse or Screech?

4/09/2008 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard through the grapevine that lockers will be located elsewhere and will be guaranteed for all 1Ls. However, there will be a limited number of lockers for 2Ls and 3Ls. Those 2Ls and 3Ls who are interested will, according to what I've heard, will have to put a deposit down to secure locker space. But one thing is certain- not all students will be able to have lockers. Doesn't sound like a great situation.

4/09/2008 9:51 PM  
Blogger matt said...

According to Wikipedia, "Screech was class valedictorian, but gave that title to Jessie as a sign of goodwill, which she then returned on graduation day." Do I get a prize?

4/09/2008 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if 9:51 is right, i am going to be soooo pissed off. my books got heavier after 1L year (i'm looking at you con law).

4/09/2008 10:04 PM  
Blogger McWho said...

There is NO WAY even half the 2 and 3L's use their locker.

4/09/2008 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm a 2L and i use mine. but i hope you are right, McWho.

4/09/2008 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lockers will be located in the hallway area of the West Basement (outside 13 and 14). I think there will be about 400 lockers there... I'm not sure what if anything is being done to account for the other 600 or so lockers.

4/09/2008 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I basically lived out of my locker 1 and 2L year, and have maybe been to it five times in 3L year. That's because you just stop doing reading as a 3L, so there's no reason to bring (or buy, really) the book, so you don't have to lug it around or store it. Pretty sweet life. 1Ls tend to be suspicious that they will ever end up this way, but you will. I promise.

4/09/2008 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard that next year the 2Ls will have their lockers at the new offices at 2850 Telegraph. It should work out OK because the shuttles are supposed to run at least every couple hours. At least.

Oh, also all the toilets are going to be moved to the new B1 level. Thankfully, there is a lot of natural light from the 20 foot wide light slot.

4/09/2008 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope that the 2850 Telegraph building will be administrative stuff only. That is way too far away to have any classes or professor offices. Unless Boalt wants to put in one of those automated people movers like they have at the airport, nobody is going to go over there.

4/09/2008 11:31 PM  
Blogger trentblase said...

Clearly the next step is to move administrative offices overseas. If we need to talk to them, well that's why we have the Koret Interactive Learning Center / video conferencing facility.

4/10/2008 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how Dean Edley's letter to students and alumni doesn't quite mention where the "South Addition" will be located.

If he's going to destroy what is really the only nice part of Boalt Hall, he should at least be open about it.

4/10/2008 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assumed that the elimination of the courtyard was apparent because the West Terrace will be the 'new' courtyard. I'm sure my assumption was made easier by having done to the Town Hall. I have a lot of questions about this construction, not the least of which are (1) whether we actually have enough money right now to do all of this and (2) what the contingency plan is if things don't go as scheduled.

4/10/2008 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody know why we can't just take over College Plaza (the grassy area west of Boalt). The new West Terrace is going to go 20 feet into College Plaza. Why not just give us the whole thing and build that original joint Haas building there?

4/11/2008 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's awesome. you basically can ride the shuttle to the berkeley bowl. rad.

4/11/2008 11:29 AM  
Blogger matt said...


That's not going to work because: (1) they'd probably have to cut down their trees, and we all know what happens when you try to cut down trees around here; and relatedly, (2) homeless people really like that fountain.

4/11/2008 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point (2) is surely right, but what about the trees in the south courtyard? Has anyone mentioned this to the treesitters? Can we get a little direct action going on here so we have somewhere to have kegs?

4/22/2008 8:24 PM  

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