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Public Hearing on Proposed Construction Set for April 24th

Student Housing, Seismically Secure Dining Complex On the Boards for Underhill Area

Posted April 12, 2000

With the release of a draft environmental impact report April 7, the campus moved a step forward with its plans to provide new housing for up to 900 students and replace two existing seismically unsafe dining halls.

Major components of the Underhill Area Projects, analyzed in the environmental impact report, include:

  • three new multi-story student residence halls;
  • two apartment-style student housing complexes;
  • demolition of two seismically poor dining halls and construction of a new central dining facility;
  • central offices for housing and dining operations;
  • a three-story parking facility for 1,000 vehicles;
  • a new sports and recreation field on the parking structure's rooftop.

The projects are planned in and around the block bounded by Channing Way, Bowditch Street, Haste Street and College Avenue, where two high-rise student residence complexes, Units 1 and 2, are currently located.

The proposed student housing units were added to the project last year in response to a call from students and the community for more student housing and is consistent with the campus's 1990 Long Range Development Plan.

The new central dining facility proposed by the campus would replace two dining halls built between 1959 and 1962. The residence halls have all been seismically upgraded in recent years, but the dining facilities were not and remain rated poor.

The proposed parking structure replaces a two-story structure and sports field, demolished in 1993 when engineers found that it would not stand up to a major earthquake. The new structure will provide a comparable amount of parking, about 1,000 spaces, and replace the popular rooftop sports field of the old parking structure.

The first public hearing on the draft environmental impact report is scheduled for 7 p.m. , April 24 at in the Unit 1 Residence Hall at 2650 Durant Ave. The city will hold additional hearings.

The board of regents is expected to consider the environmental impact report in September. Construction could not begin until after regents' certification of the final environmental impact statement and approval of individual projects. Berkeley hopes to have the dining hall and the first of the student housing completed in 2002.




April 12-18, 2000 (Volume 28, Number 28)
Copyright 2000, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the
Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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