UC Ready to Hire Builder For Anna Head Housing

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 13, 2009 - 10:56:00 AM

Construction is set to begin next summer on a new 424-bed university housing complex, a four-to-six-story structure that will rise at the site of the Anna Head parking lot. 

UC Berkeley’s Capital Projects division has posted a call for contractors for the project—dubbed Anna Head Student Housing West—which will cost an estimated $42 million. 

According to the announcement, the building will contain 200 beds in double-occupancy rooms in a sophomore residence hall and 224 beds in four-bedroom units for upper-division students.  

The structure will be located on a 1.25-acre site west of Bowditch Street between Channing Way and Haste Street north of People’s Park. 

The site, which currently is a surface parking lot, is immediately adjacent to the six-building, wood-shingled, Craftsman-style Anna Head complex, an official city landmark which is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

The Anna Head buildings, once a private young women’s school and now the home of UC Berkeley programs, will remain open during construction, according to the Capital Projects notice. 

While no work is planned on the historic buildings themselves, the notice states that “selected landscaping improvements around the historic buildings are included.” 

According to the notice, the new concrete-framed building “will utilize passive thermal elements, incorporate energy efficient mechanical systems, and will strive to achieve LEED Gold certification.” 

LEED is the certification system of the U.S. Green Building Council, which awards levels of certification based on a building’s energy-conserving features. Gold is the second-highest level of certification, exceeded only by Platinum. 

“Silver is our current requirement,” said UCB Public Affairs Executive Director Dan Mogulof, “but we’ll try for gold.” 

With construction starting next summer, the building should be ready for students to move in by the fall 2012 semester, according to the notice. 

The university’s Residential and Students Service Programs office will administer the building, which will also be used to house visitors to summer conferences at the university.  

None of the funds for the project will come from central campus sources, Mogulof said. RSSP will use housing reserve funds and debt financing to bankroll the building.. 

Submission of prequalifications, which closed Aug. 1, is the first step toward bidding on the project. Only those who have qualified will be able to submit bids. 

The forms are posted on the university’s website at www.cp.berkeley.edu/AdsForBids.html. 

The site of the new housing complex had also been considered for another UCB project in 2005, deluxe accommodations for corporate executives attending costly seminars at the university’s Haas School of Business. The university opted instead for Bowles Hall, then shelved the project. 

When the university issued its initial call for an architect to design the student housing project on the parking lot 13 months ago, the structure was proposed as a $75 million, two-building 479-bed complex. 

The new proposal consolidates the two structures into one, trimming $33 million in costs and 55 beds in the process while retaining the same basic construction and occupancy schedule. 

Mogulof said the building’s design is still a work in progress, including the directions the higher and lower elevations will face. 

The 205 parking spaces currently on the lot will not be replaced, he said.