Lower Sproul project to move to one phase

Pending approval by the UC Board of Regents, Lower Sproul Plaza’s renovation will be consolidated into one part instead of two, reducing the cost of the project by millions of dollars.

The $223 million project was previously split into two parts: the first including the demolition of Eshleman Hall, and the second including the renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building. Now, the project is going to cost $193 million, leaving the campus with $30 million for other Lower Sproul-related projects, UC Berkeley Vice Provost for Teaching, Learning, Academic Planning and Facilities Cathy Koshland said Thursday.

The regents must still approve the project’s plan and budget at next month’s board meeting before anything is final.

The project began when UC Berkeley students voted to pass the B.E.A.R.S. Initiative in spring 2010. The initiative seeks to improve the energy efficiency and safety of the plaza and make it more aesthetically pleasing.