This summer kicks off the first phase of “Transforming the Haas Campus,” one of the three main pillars of the school’s strategic plan, with significant improvements to the Haas courtyard and the installation of air conditioning in Cheit Hall classrooms.
Funded through the Haas School's ongoing Campaign for Haas capital campaign, these projects are the result of input from students, faculty, and staff over the course of several years to inform how to proceed in transforming the Haas campus.
The courtyard renovation area spans from the Fisher Gate to the north end of the courtyard, excluding the sculpture, gazebo, and stairs at the southeast end. The concrete planter boxes and walkways will be removed and replaced by paving stones to create one smooth, continuous surface. Using two colors of pavers laid out in geometric sections, plus black pavers surrounding a dozen new maple trees, the design will create a checkerboard effect across the courtyard.
The choice of furniture and landscaping will allow more flexible arrangements for events and activities. Everyday seating will include tables and chairs that can be easily rearranged or removed to facilitate large events. The goal of the renovation is to establish an epicenter where students, faculty, staff, and visitors from across campus can mingle, socialize, and share ideas.
“Imagine the buzz and feel of Café Strada and now picture that energy and interaction in the Haas courtyard,” says Dean Rich Lyons. “That is the sort of environment we want to create, a kind of ‘town square’ for our community.”
Construction crews also will be on campus this summer installing air conditioning ducts in Cheit Hall.
Much of the necessary infrastructure was already incorporated in the original building, so the most time-consuming work involves the chillers located behind the Baker building. Upgrading the existing HVAC controls will bring them up to the new campus standard and result in measurable energy savings.
Work on both projects is expected to begin the week of July 2. The air conditioning installation will continue through August, taking place at night and on the weekends. The courtyard renovation will continue through September. The first few weeks during the demolition phase will be very noisy throughout the Haas buildings. Undergraduate summer session classes in courtyard-facing classrooms will be relocated during demolition.
Updates and information on these projects will be available on the Haas School Strategic Plan website: https://haas.berkeley.edu/strategicplan/strategicfocus/transform/index.html.