UC Haas Planner Sought, Law School Bidders Announced

By Richard Brenneman
Friday February 01, 2008

UC Berkeley this week revealed the companies picked to bid on a new $56 million law school building and called for an architect to plan major changes to Haas School of Business. 

Officially described as the Law School Infill Project, construction includes a new 50,000-square-foot building to be erected in the courtyard adjacent to the existing building plus another 10,000 square feet of renovations to the current facility. 

The new building will consist of three floors, two of them underground, with the upper level covered by a green roof. 

University officials have narrowed the list of prospective bidders to four firms for the work at the School Formerly Known as Boalt Hall: Charles Pankow Builders of Oakland and Hunt Construction Group, McCarthy Building Companies and Plant Construction Company, all of San Francisco. 

The companies were among 14 which had picked up project plans. 

According to the original advertisement for bids, the project “will strive to comply with LEED Silver equivalent,” referring to the second lowest of four energy conservation standards developed by U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. 

Bids are due by 2 p.m. Feb. 22, and will be opened two minutes later. 

The second project is much broader, and seeks an architectural firm to develop a strategic facilities plan for the Haas School. 

The winner will be paid a lump-sum fee of not more than $185,000, according to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) posted by the university. 

The plan “is envisioned as the first phase of a program of capital improvement which may include both renovations to existing facilities and construction of new facilities,” states the RFQ. 

The plan is to address near-, mid- and long-term needs of the school as they have developed since the school moved into its new buildings 12 years ago. 

The current complex housing 2,178 students, 74 permanent faculty, 80 visiting and non-permanent faculty members in buildings totally 234,000 gross square feet. 

The new plan is separate from the previously announced plans to create a “connection building” uniting offices and meeting spaces for both the law and business schools, said Dan Mogulof, executive director of the university’s Office of Public Affairs. 

But that project, estimated three years ago to cost between $100 million and $120 million, has been placed on hold. 

The reason? 

Calvin Hall, a circular building at the site of the proposed connection building, is currently housing the facilities of the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), the $500 million corporate/academic research program funded by BP, the Company Formerly Known as British Petroleum. 

The EBI is scheduled to get a new home in the purpose built Helios Building up the hill at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL). 

But that project is several years from completion, forcing the delay in the connection building that was dramatically unveiled by Chancellor Robert Birgeneau as one of the keystones of the Southeast Campus Integrated Projects—themselves the subject of legal action in Alameda County Superior Court. 

The architect hired for the business school plans will evaluate the school’s needs and space and “prepare a space program that corrects existing deficiencies” while meeting long-term goals. The RFQ also calls for the winner to “identify and evaluate alternative investment strategies to accommodate the space program.” 

Work would begin immediately on the signing of the contract, with completion due by July 1. 

Michael Kelly of the Panoramic Hill Association is one of the plaintiffs in the suit challenging the Environmental Impact Report for the SCIP projects, and he said Thursday that he wondered if both projects were including scope of the SCIP EIR, which did cite improvements at both schools. 

“Thanks for the heads up,” he said when told the university had posted both projects on its website. 

The RFQ is at www.cp.berkeley.edu/CP/Projects/HaasSchoolofBusiness/RFQ_18217A_StrategicFacilitiesPlan.pdf; the notification of qualified bidders for the law school is at www.cp.berkeley.edu/AFB_12267A_LawSchoolInfill_afterPreq.pdf