Berkeley school district settles into new headquarters

The Berkeley Unified School District has moved into new headquarters at 2020 Bonar Street, near University Avenue Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

The Berkeley School District has spent much of the past two weeks moving into its newly renovated headquarters at the West Campus at 2020 Bonar Street.

The school district spent $10.5 million to renovate the building, which was used for years as the Adult School and as a home for ninth graders before that, according to Mark Coplan, the district spokesman. Most of the employees from the district’s main headquarters at Old City Hall, operational offices on Oregon Street, and the Annex at 1835 Allston Way moved to the new site. The move was prompted by concern that the Old City Hall, which the district had used for 37 years, was not seismically sound. The project was paid for with money from two school district bond measures, AA and I.

The renovated West Campus is light, airy and modern, with plenty of conference rooms, a number of classrooms, and even a view of the Golden Gate Bridge from some rooms.

The school board will continue to meet in the chambers at Old City Hall until a nearby building can be renovated for a new meeting place. The school board will meet at 2020 Bonar Street on Wednesday Aug. 15, however, since Old City Hall is being painted.


Superintendent Bill Huyett is scheduled to formally retire on Thursday Aug. 16. He had been planning to leave on June 30 but the school board asked him to postpone his retirement because its search for a new leader had not generated a suitable candidate.  School board directors are scheduled to discuss hiring an interim superintendent at their Wednesday meeting. They have also been interviewing another set of candidates for the job.

Susan Craig, BUSD Director of Student Services, stands by unpacked boxes at the district’s new HQ. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
The superintendent’s office. Current Superintendent Bill Huyett is set to retire Thursday Aug. 16. The school board is meeting in closed session Aug. 15 to choose an interim superintendent. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
Mark Coplan, BUSD spokesman,in a conference room in the new BUSD headquarters. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
Jana Jandra, executive assistant to the superintendent, says she loves the light-filled and spacious new headquarters. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

Related:
Berkeley school district renews search for superintendent
[06.01.12]
What does Berkeley want from its new school head? [03.14.12]
Berkeley Schools Superintendent Bill Huyett to retire [12.06.11]
Understanding Measures H and I [10.13.10]

Want to get a digest of all the day’s Berkeley news in your email inbox at the end of your day? Click here to subscribe to Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.