Preparations are currently under way to transform Maxwell Family Field, the multiuse playing field adjacent to Memorial Stadium, into a two-story parking structure with a field on top, similar to Underhill Parking and Field.
Campus Facilities Services aims for the 450-space parking lot to be operational sometime during the next football season, but field construction may take place at a later date. Demolition of Maxwell Field began in mid-December, but construction of the parking structure will not begin until February.
“It looks dramatic, but it’s just a bit of preparation,” said Christine Shaff, director of communications for the UC Berkeley’s Facilities Services department, referring to the current state of the field.
City Park, a private company, will operate the parking structure, rather than campus Parking and Transportation. Shaff said that it is not currently known whether City Park will honor campus parking permits in the structure. Many visitors of the Hearst Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley’s optometry clinic, Haas School of Business and Memorial Stadium will likely utilize the parking structure, Shaff said.
Construction will impact field hockey practices and games. Assistant athletic director Herb Benenson said Cal Athletics is currently looking at appropriate alternatives for the fall season. According to Rachael McWhirter, co-student director of intramural sports, all softball intramural games have been canceled until the new field opens. Intramural soccer teams now practice mainly at Underhill Field, and other intramural teams have increased their usage of Witter Field, which is located behind Memorial Stadium.
In the coming months, construction of the parking structure and replacement field may also result in noise disturbances and sidewalk closures. A private third-party contractor will carry out construction at the site, but Capital Projects, the campus’s construction management unit, will oversee the project.
The budget for construction of the parking structure and field is approximately $20 million, according to Shaff. The project is one component of the Southeast Campus Integrated Project, which included seismic corrections to Memorial Stadium and the creation of the Simpson Student-Athlete High Performance Center.