Berkeley Unified School District begins moving offices

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The Berkeley Unified School District has begun moving its district administrative offices into the renovated West Campus building at 2020 Bonar Street at the corner of University Avenue.

After the final part of the move to West Campus from July 27 to Aug. 7, all administrative offices will begin operating from the new location on Aug. 8.

The goal of move, according to the district website, is to centralize the three seismically unsafe buildings in Old City Hall at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, the Annex at 1835 Allston Way and operational offices on Oregon Street into one “newly retrofitted and modernized building.”

The district, which has occupied Old City Hall since 1975, has been considering this move since 2009. The renovations on the new building began in May 2010 and were set to be completed by Dec. 2011, according to the district website. District Superintendent Bill Huyett had said the move was to be completed in January of this year. The West Campus had been the location of the Berkeley Adult School until 2004.

According to its website, the district has three separate projects for this property — the classroom building ‘C’ on Bonar Street at the West Campus site will be the Central Office Administration, the West Campus School Board Room will replace the Old City Hall Council Chambers for public meetings of local school officials and the West Campus Career Technical Education and possible charter school project will create classrooms and support spaces for 400 students at West Campus.

The Berkeley City Council, which currently holds its meetings at Old City Hall, also considered moving their chambers to the 7.3 acre area along University Avenue but received many concerns from neighboring residents in the fall regarding traffic and noise concerns of future construction projects. The council has since decided not to move the chambers.

According to the Oct. 2011 West Campus Community meeting minutes, “Huyett explained that the long term goal of the West Campus projects is to revitalize the entire site … He stated that the BUSD has the intention of acting as a good neighbor by facilitating these projects to help improve the neighborhood.”