Budget Approved For New Boalt Hall Building

$90 Million Budget For Building's Construction Goes Through Committee

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A committee for the UC Board of Regents unanimously approved an increased budget yesterday of $90 million for the construction of a building at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law.

The regents on the committee on grounds and buildings passed a resolution increasing the project's budget by $87.4 million, up from the $2.6 million approved in January. The project will also be funded by fee increases for Boalt law students approved last September.

The proposed building, which has been in official planning stages since 2005, will be built on Boalt's south side on Bancroft Way and expand library space, add classrooms, include a student study area and cafe, Boalt officials said.

University officials said the budget change was a positive step for Boalt.

"As someone who cares about the Boalt community, this is part of a process for Boalt to step up its game," said Boalt student and Student Regent Benjamin Allen.

The resolution will go before the full board for approval on Thursday.

Of the project's total budget, the item states that $5.8 million will come from funds Boalt has already raised, while the remainder would be funded by bonds to be paid off over 30 years, in part by student fees.

"The hope would be that (the funds) would come from donors," said Kathleen Vanden Heuvel, associate dean for capital projects at Boalt.

At their September 2007 meeting, the regents approved a 19.5 percent fee increase for law students, raising total fees at Boalt from $26,897 this year to $30,931 in 2008-09.

While it approved the 2008-09 increase, the board also endorsed a tentative three-year plan for fee increases.

Allen said that, although he opposed fee increases in September, the revenue must now be used to improve the school.

"If we're going to do it, we'd better be ambitious and use that money well," he said. "We need to have better facilities, better services and a better law school."


Angelica Dongallo covers higher education. Contact her at [email protected]

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