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College-Durant apartments exterior
  The College-Durant apartment complex, opening this fall, adds 120 beds to the campus housing stock for upper division and graduate students. (Steve McConnell photos)
Student housing considered best in years
22 August 2002

By Kathleen Maclay, Media Relations

BERKELEY - The dot-com bust and economic downturn, along with the construction of new campus housing, have produced the best student housing outlook in years, campus officials said. There’s no waiting list for UC Berkeley’s supply of 5,300 beds, and "For Rent" signs abound for private apartments and homes.

  Apartment complex courtyard
The courtyard at the new College-Durant apartment complex, the first university housing to be added since Cleary Hall opened in 1994.

The campus’s College-Durant Apartments — the first new UC Berkeley student housing complex since Cleary Hall opened in 1992 — just opened for 120 upper division and graduate students.

"This is the best I’ve ever seen it," said Becky White, assistant director of Faculty & Community Housing, which operates Cal Rentals, the counseling and rental referral office for students. Her office is logging 120-150 calls a day — compared to 60-80 last year — from people placing new rental ads, many for Berkeley properties.

UC Berkeley is committed to providing rooms for students, in an economic boom or bust, said Harry LeGrande, assistant vice chancellor for Residential & Student Service Programs. Four new campus residence halls and one apartment-style complex in the Southside neighborhood are scheduled for completion by 2005. They will offer safe and affordable student housing within walking distance of campus.

The campus also is building a central dining and student services office center on the east side of Bowditch Street, between Haste Street and Channing Way. Scheduled to open in late January 2003, it will be the main site for student food services at the Units 1 and 2 residence hall complexes.

The center is designed to remain operational in the event of a major earthquake on the Hayward Fault, and will replace two separate dining halls in Units 1 and 2 that were deemed seismically vulnerable.

Meanwhile, a dining hall that remains open in Unit 1 now features a "Deconstruction Diner" construction theme and the "Bear Market," open for quick meals until midnight.