Restoration of Historic Campus Building Begins

Photo: Workers from National Fence Co. install a wire fence around Durant Hall during construction.
Lara Brucker/Photo
Workers from National Fence Co. install a wire fence around Durant Hall during construction.

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Renovation began yesterday on Durant Hall-one of the oldest buildings on campus-to prepare for the move of offices that will be lost when Campbell Hall is demolished, likely late next year.

Campbell Hall, which currently houses deans' offices and a portion of the undergraduate advising department of the College of Letters & Science, is scheduled for demolition late next year, at the earliest, pending the approval of the university's budget, said Christine Shaff, communications manager for campus facilities services.

The building is set to be demolished due to seismic weakness and its inability to meet teaching and research needs.

Durant Hall is undergoing renovations to improve the electrical, plumbing and fire sprinkler system and to improve disability access for the move-in of departments in Letters & Science, scheduled for next fall, she said.

"The building is significantly old and needs changes," Shaff said.

The hall is currently vacant after the East Asian Language and Cultures department began a move to Dwinelle Hall over the summer.

Its size and location made Durant Hall the best location for the offices, said Chuck Stoup, assistant dean for finance and administration in the College of Letters & Science.

"One (reason) is the fit in terms of the size of Durant with our space needs for our office and second is the location for L and S at the center of campus," he said.

Ten million dollars have been appropriated for the renovations through Proposition 1D, which was passed by California voters in 2006. The proposition raised $10,416,000,000 to relieve public school overcrowding and repair older schools.

Durant Hall became a City of Berkeley landmark in late February 1991, which mandated additional steps in the building process. For example, the campus had to work with state historical architects, Stoup said.

The campus will aim to meet silver level certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a federal green building certification.

"We're planning on having it certified and we'll know at what level more to the end of the project than we do now, but our goal is silver, so that means we'll recycle the building materials as much as we can ... just healthier building materials," Shaff said.


Contact Kat Murti at [email protected]

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