New Building Construction Behind Schedule

By Mindy Ng

Photo by Riley_Ferenbach-Fahselt

Berkeley High School’s reconstruction of the building that will replace the Old Gym is currently behind schedule, and is planned to be completed in the fall of 2013.

Around May of 2012, the school began the construction of a new building on the site of the Old Gym. Equipped with sports offices, locker rooms, gymnasiums, and weight lifting rooms, the Old Gym was found to be the only seismically unsafe structure remaining on campus.

The complex demolition process took place during the summer while students were absent from the school site. Prior to the extermination of the building, a contractor was required to remove the hazardous materials present inside.
“During demolition the contractor discovered a previously unknown and unmapped pipe work underground that was laden with asbestos,” explained the Berkeley Unified School District’s Head of Facilities Department, Lew Jones. “The whole site had to be treated as a hazardous materials site.”

This discovery led to the need for more work and will possibly delay the project for one to two months.
Following its completion, the building will serve as a home for fourteen new classrooms, a strength and fitness center, and a soft gym for sports including wrestling and basketball. It will be fully earthquake–proof, making all of BHS a seismically safe campus up to state standards.

“Compared with the stadium project last year … this project is going really well,” said Jones. “Construction projects always have delays and issues, but I think most of the folks who are watching this closely are pretty happy with the way things are going.”