CCAC of BUSD - Highlights 2001to end of 2004

Fall, 2000 - Second bond (AA) is passed by voters.
January 9, 2002 - The CCAC's most recent "Yearly report to the Board."
Major Events of the Building Program
CCAC Meetings, Discussions, Products

Pre-programming at Berkeley High
The new bond had just passed. Jack M. departed, ending a six year term. Lew Jones took a prolonged vacation. No means were in place to commence progress on the BHS Old Gym rehab, the principal justification for passage of the second bond. B-building was a vacant, burned-out hulk. BHS was seeing the highest enrollment it had experienced in 20 year while much of it was occupied by a village of portables which were deployed when B burned. With all this came a sense of urgency to bring additional built space on-line soon. At the request of Vice Sup Cathy James and acting sup Steve Goldstone, CCAC members James Hallam and Bruce Wicinas commenced a three month architectural pre-programing exercise at Berkeley High. Hallam and Wicinas arranged a series of weekly meetings at Berkeley High. Reasoning that the main consituency for this project was the Berkeley High staff, the meetings were held in the afternoon after classes. And participate the the staff did, with "encouragement" by principal Frank Lynch. The first meeting was attended by 25 teachers including almost every department head.

Minutes were kept. A rigorous needs assessment was accomplished. Via the meetings the staff began the necessary facing of trade-offs. An ancillary outcome was the decision to demolish rather than repair "B" building, a leap of faith by the BHS staff. An RFP for the old gym rehab was published to architecture firms, submissions received, firms interviewed and an architect selected - Akol & Yoshii. The pre-programming culminated with a one-afternoon "planning game" hosted by ELS architects and an internationally-recognized facilitator, Henry Sanoff. This was attended by much of the high school staff and by others. It was well documented. ("Old Gym Pre-Programmming Workshop Summary, June 20, 2001," still available as a Pagemaker file on CD. It yielded several alternate schemes for the rennovation of the Old Gym, the focus of the exercise. A summary is on the pre-programming website

Consequence: None Immediately after the conclusion of all this, the BUSD administrative "guard changed" and Lew Jones returned from vacation. The entire initiative was put on ice - in fact deeply frozen in ice. There was destined to be no movement on any of this for more than two subsequent years. The architect firm Akol and Yoshii was dismissed. The rehab of the old gym itself - the principal rationale of bond measure AA - came into question. The residue of this effort can be seen on the "Master Planning" website. This has been maintained as a repository of BHS master planning information, updated now and then. It includes artifacts of many BHS master plans, including 1937, 1994, 1996, 1999, and as well as this 2001 effort. The information there is is still of interest, and a cautionary tale to all who clamor for master planning of BHS. However, the large amount of voluteers hours expended by CCAC vanished without other consequence.

Architect Selection Policy
The committee dedicated some discussion to architect selection policy. This was of interest to the director of facilites who was reconsidering how to match architects with projects for the subsequent rounds of building. The original architect pool, selected in the early nineties, needed to be dissolved and possibly reconstituted.

Tracking the Implementation of BB
The committee regularly tracked the bumpy "progress" of the nascent "MOP" - Maintenance Oversight and Planning Committee."

Project Manual
In the fall, over the course of several months the committee evolved "Project Manual Steps" The CCAC's 1999 report to the Board had recommended a "Project Manual" but did not provide detail. Since that time both CCAC and the Facilities Staff considered the idea worthy and in need of definition. In 2001 the CCAC dedicated substantial time to the development of the "project manual" concept.

Other discussion topics:
Other topics appeared on agendas and were intermittently discussed:

  • BUSD construction specs
  • BHS (progress of the construction project; uncertainty about what happens "next")
  • Topic: Identifying who is impacted by construction
  • Qualification of Bidders

Member Omar Baltan offered a a broad critique of aspects of the building program from his perspective as a former facilities manager for another District. Via simple devices such as a tabular computation of "square foot per student" at the various K-8 schools he made a case for the need for the District to "tighten its belt" and resist "program inflation" type cost increases in the projects. Omar called for a full "construction audit" of the building program.


Presentation of "Annual Report"
January 9, 2002 the CCAC submitted its "annual" report to the Board. (See Board Packet pages 092-105.) Following a cover letter from Lew Jones to Supt. Lawrence is the CCAC-authored "State of the Construction Program 2001." At the end of the document is a list of 12 potential items for subsequent CCAC follow-up. Following this document is "Project Manual Steps", the vetted final draft culminating months of work.

At the Jan 9 presentation the Board indicated the list of topics which particularly interested them. These included:

  • 1) Possible futures for unused properties,
  • 2) Future rehab of District properties not covered by the bond (Oregon St., etc),
  • 3) Energy Efficiency and "Green" Standards,
  • 4) Life cycle and maintainability regarding construction materials and hardware.
  • In the first couple meetings of the year the committee attempted to take up the "topics of interest". To the list the chair suggested added "Review of BUSD's experience with construction management firms." Member Matt Taecker drafted a letter to the BUSD sup. (Sept 24, 2002) outlining a process for considering the disposition of surplus properties. Member Tom Rose addressed a letter to the committee with substantial recommendations on Energy Management at BUSD (June 24, 2002) Both Matt's and Tom's letter received some discussion.

    District's Focus at this time: Not on Facilites
    During this era the District was focused upon an acute fiscal crisis. In accordance with a CCAC resolution the CCAC chair made several appearances before the board during the public comment period to remind of the building program. This was partly conceived as a "public information" function. A couple of these appearances called attention to the shut-off of the the building program "pipeline" since the change of Superintendents. Besides the halting of the BHS old gym project, the Transportation Facility had been iced and no other projects on the Measure AA timeline had yet commenced. Meanwhile, a "site committee" was convened at Berkeley High to deal with issues around the anticipated opening of the new building. This committee did not stick to that charge, however, and discussed "issue d' jour" regarding master planning and facilities issues.

    The designated "items of interest" were periodically discussed at CCAC meetings. But other than the letters mentioned, no "homework" was done; hence no report-out was generated. The slowdown in the building program yielded a perception of reduced interest and urgency in BUSD about building -related issues.

    In April the committee visted the King contruction site and viewed the appalling structural negligences in the exposed 20's era wall and floor framing..

    Waiting on the CFS "Capacities Study"
    As the year went on the attention of the committee was repeatedly drawn by the prolonged "capacities study" for which which the Superintendent had commissioned a consultant, California Financial Services. All subsequent building program decision-making was declared suspended pending outcome of this study but its delivery date was repeatedly delayed. Near the end of the year the committee finally saw a partial draft of the report.

    BHS: Alarms re: Food Service and other Planning Issues
    In the fall, alarms were raised by activists at the high school about the "plan" for food services at the high school. In particular, the high school and parents learned that the "food court" which was under construction was designed with capacity to serve a relatively small number of meals. In response to intense concern a meeting of all major stakeholders was held. It included parent activists, the BUSD Sup. and other administrators, the construction Project manager, Lew Jones and Karen Condito. Seeking "reason for being" amid construction inactivity, the "minutes" of this meeting were written up the CCAC chair who attended the meeting "Planning Issues Regarding the BHS Food Services Facility", Oct 15, 2002.

    Meanwhile, BHS repeatedly was discussed by the CCAC. A typical agenda item: "The Facilities Planning Gridlock at BHS." Related issued, not all of which received discussion, included: BHS and the relationship of students and Berkeley downtown; The superintendent's desired to close the campus; the fate of the community theater; the Warm Pool; the facilities implications of small schools.

    "Release" of the CFS "Capacities Study"
    In December the District at last received the capacities and surplus properties study by California Financial Services (CFS) commissioned by the Superintendent. Copies were not generally available.


    "Campus Green" for BHS was authorized by the Board. Design awarded; construction completed.

    In the spring, the Milvia Street building of Berkeley High at last opens.

    Modernization of the main building of King Middle School is completed.

    Jan. 7 CCAC authored a response to the Capacities Study, "BHS and K-8 Capacities Topics: Response and Counter-Analysis." The memo carefully analyzes the CFS study of Dec. 2002.
    Jan. 15 In a similar vein to the analysis by the CAC the Manager of Faciliies submits to the Board "Discussion of the Facilities Study and possible Next Steps." This proposes convening a superintendent's advisory commmittee to follow up on the issues raised by the CFS study. The lengthy memo defined "next steps" and a time line for action. Nothing came of this recommendation nor of the CCAC's analysis.
    Jan 30 meeting. Discussion of a list of potential focus topics for 2003:

  • BUSD Construction standards
  • Capacity issues - "the discrepancy of student population and capacity, South Zone vs. North Zone." (admitedly a little outside the committee charge)
  • "How to implement change with meaning"
  • Ongoing analysis of BHS south campus function and layout - Parking, pools, loading docks, etc
  • The state of BUSD's facilties documents - the as-builts, etc
  • How have the new and improved buildings performed?
  • Feb 27 meeting. (From this period onward the Facilities deparment lacked staff support so CCAC minutes were no longer recorded.)
    Professional Services Interviews. In the spring BUSD selects a new CM firm, new architect and landscape architect pools for subsequent work. Several CCAC members sit on the three selection panels at the request of the Distrct.
    March 27 meeting. The discussion of parking at Berkeley High commenced. The committee proposed building a parking structure on the tennis courts. Lloyd suggetsed building parking beneath the ball field. For the background and rationale regarding this parking structure initiative see:
    April 24 meeting. Matt brings sketches of the BHS campus illustrating a parking layout beneath the softball field.
    May 29 meeting;
    Discussion of some of the 2003 "focus" items. There was insufficient time to touch on all. The committee returned to these topics over the course of the next several meetings.
    August 28 meeting.
    September 25 meeting. Talked about the problems of the transition of the Adult School to the Franklin site.
    October 23 meeting.
    Presentation to the CCAC by local developer Patrick Kennedy and city of Berkeley parking "czar" Matt Nichols: A proposal to build a parking structure on the BHS Tennis Courts. A summary of this presentation is available. (Contact Bruce Wicinas for the MS Word .doc, "Meeting Proceedings: Discussion of a Proposal to Build a Parking Structure o the BHS Tennis Courts.")
    November 20 meeting. Vigorous discussion of the Oct. 23 proposal. Committee considers how to get movement by the District. Committee urges that the tennis court usage be committed without awaiting the outcome of master planning, not anticipated for more than a year.
    Dec. 16 meeting Continued discussion of the BHS tennis courts.
    Dec - Joint meeting of CCAC and MAC (formerly "MOP").


    Modernization of Franklin site is completed and the Adult School relocates to it.

    RFQ for South of Bancroft Planning; firm selected; planning begun in the fall.

    Jan 26
    Presentation by "neighbors of Hillside" of a scheme for partnering between BUSD, city and neighborhood to determine a benign future for the Hillside School site.
    Feb 26
    BHS Tennis Courts parking proposal - on-going discussion. Discussion of proposal regarding Hillside heard at an earlier meeting. "CCAC agenda for 2004"
    March 25
    Discussion of expectations re: BHS master planning. Formally dropped discussion of tennis courts parking as Board referred the question to master planning. Discussed the maintenance of the District's as-built drawings.
    May 27
    Discussion of expectations re: BHS master planning. Maintenance of BUSD as-built drawings. "What happens after bond money ends?" How do changes get incorporated into the as-builts. Brief presentation re: BUSD capacity and student population distribution history by Bruce.
    June 24
    Discussion of how to approach district-wide planning for change of site use. Proposed for next meeting: "30-50% chingth (??) the life cycle. "Is there a continuing planning process that is appropriate? Life cycles, maintenance? " A subsequent anticipated joint meeting of CCAC and Maintenance Advisory committee was cancelled.
    August 13 (informal daytime session)
    Two members met with Lew to brainstorm a possible approach to district-wide planning for change of site use (Oregon St., West Campus, Admin) All agreed a consultant should be hired to conduct the process.
    September 30
    Only two members attended. Review of program activity; discussion of a major cost adjustment to Franklin (Adult) School project.
    December 16
    Discusssion of South-of-Bancroft planning at BHS; review of three months' facilities program activity; construction cost inflation in steel and concrete; unflattering press coverage of CCAC, methods of reinvigorating CCAC, how to find more members and possible topics for 2005. with With the advent of Chanita Stevenson, formal minutes of CCAC meetings at last resume after a nearly two year lapse.