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UC Berkeley extends public input on construction

Bay City News Service
Monday August 20, 2001

UC Berkeley has announced that it will extend its period for public comment on a draft document that details potential environmental impacts of proposed campus construction. 

The public now has until Aug. 30 to comment of the draft environmental impact report. 

The campus is proposing to replace Stanley Hall and Davis Hall with seismically adept structures to house the university's health science laboratories as well as the research facilities of the bioengineering and information technology departments. 

According the draft EIR, construction noise and the loss of tennis courts and a skateboarding area on Hearst Avenue are the significant, unavoidable impacts that will result if the university goes ahead with its bintentions. 

The university's proposal would convert the tennis court into parking spaces, something that some members of the community were concerned about during a public hearing held earlier this year. 

The university is considering relocating the courts, although it is not part of the current proposal. 

Community members were also concerned about parking availability and traffic congestion during construction. According to the EIR, while truck traffic will have an impact, trips could be scheduled to minimize the disturbance. 

The draft EIR also found that the project would raise the total number of developed acres on campus above that envisioned in the university's Long Range Development Plan, which addresses construction on campus from 1990 to 2005. In order to comply with the plan, the university would have to amend it. 

In addition to the creation of two new buildings, the proposed project calls for the seismic retrofit of three other buildings, and an extension to Soda Hall, the computer sciences building.