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Project Update · 04.12.2024

Berkeley City College to break ground on big campus expansion in downtown Berkeley

A community college in Berkeley announced plans to break ground on its latest expansion project later this month that would double the footprint of its campus from one to two buildings downtown.

Berkeley City College, part of the Peralta Community College District, has been working for more than a decade to build a new 60,000-square-foot, six-story building at 2118 Milvia St. in downtown Berkeley, Tom Rizza, a spokesperson for the college, said. The new building is the first time the community college has expanded in nearly 20 years.

The new structure, called Berkeley City College West, is in downtown Berkeley and will feature new hybrid-friendly classrooms with teleconferencing technology, office spaces for faculty, a wellness center for students and an outdoor patio. Construction is expected to complete in 2026.

The $101 million project is funded through the $800 million Measure G bond proposal, which Alameda County voters approved in 2018. The pandemic, economic headwinds and community college enrollment falling nationwide post-pandemic delayed the project, Rizza said.

The college has been occupying a five-story, 150,000-square-foot building at 2050 Center St. in downtown Berkeley since 2006, and as enrollment grew it spilled over into a neighboring office building, renting out 25,000 square feet there. The new addition was designed by Ratcliff Architecture Firm, who designed the college’s first building.

The West campus will open up a bright new chapter in Berkeley City College’s future. This was a collaborative project that elicited input and feedback from students, faculty, and classified professionals throughout the entire design process,

said BCC President Denise Richardson.

The new building will make room for the college’s academic support groups for first generation college students, as well as its Society of Scholars — the home of the college’s cultural learning communities.

One of the most important design considerations was creating more spaces for students to study and find community. There will be tutoring, a Learning Resource Center, a student lounge, and dedicated spaces for our growing Society of Scholars,

Richardson said.

The Peralta Community College District includes Berkeley City College, Laney College, Merritt College and College of Alameda. BCC’s campus sits just blocks from the University of California, Berkeley, campus.

Date Published: 04.12.2024
Source: San Francisco Business Times

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