On Friday, the great and the good of UC Berkeley unveiled the newly renovated Memorial Stadium, the result of more than 30 years of planning, $321 million in pledged funding, many feats of seismic engineering, and 21 months of construction.
Cal fans might describe Eric Gellerman as a hero. Gellerman is a wood aficionado who owns Berkeley’s salvaged wood furniture store, The Wooden Duck. A few weeks ago, he discovered that all the bleachers that had been torn out of Memorial Stadium as part of its major retrofit were sitting in a warehouse in Oakland bound for an uncertain future in Mexico.
Those of you who take Berkeley’s Piedmont Avenue regularly to get from A to B will be delighted to have seen that the northbound lane has reopened — and it’s much enhanced since it was closed off to enable the construction work being undertaken at Cal Memorial Stadium.
On Tuesday, a giant mobile crane lifted the final section of the 300-foot long press-box frame into place at the Cal Memorial Stadium — a significant step in the $321 million renovation project that is scheduled to be completed 11 months from now, in time for the first game of the fall 2012 season.
In a few weeks, a brand new, 145,000 sq. ft. building will open its doors in Berkeley. Architects, engineers and construction crews have been working on it for almost three years, and the scale of the endeavor cannot be underestimated. However it’s likely you haven’t even spotted this building; and, even when it’s fully operational by the beginning of next year, it will continue to be largely hidden from public view.
By Niclas Ericsson
A couple of weeks ago — darn, how did we miss this? — the BBC touched down by helicopter at California Memorial Stadium to film a segment for the
show Naked EarthBBC series Naked Earth, which is likely to be renamed when it broadcasts in the US to avoid confusion with a National Geographic series.