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Support state financing of the Tolman Hall replacement project (Assembly Bill 94)

This petition made change with 624 supporters!


The current Tolman Hall, a reinforced concrete structure on the UC Berkeley campus completed in 1962, poses serious life safety risks and is deficient in several ways.  According to a series of studies the most recent one having been completed in 2009-2011, as part of the Seismic Action for Facilities Enhancement and Renewal (SAFER) program, Tolman is rated seismically “poor” in the event of a major seismic activity on the Hayward fault, which runs directly through the UC Berkeley campus. A “poor” rating indicates that buildings and other structures are expected to sustain significant structural and nonstructural damage and/or result in falling hazards in a major seismic disturbance, representing appreciable life hazards.

In recognition of this life-safety hazard, the campus ended use of thirteen general assignment classrooms in Tolman in 2011 to reduce anticipated injuries and deaths should there be a major event.  Nevertheless, staff, students, and faculty have to come to Tolman Hall everyday to work. In addition, members of the community visit Tolman on a daily basis to participate in research or to obtain services from the Psychology Clinical Assessment Center.

The building is also deficient for modern day research and offices. The original electrical system operates at half the capacity of a modern educational facility; and the building does not meet even minimal energy conservation standards. Nonetheless, faculty and staff in the School of Education and Department of Psychology, as well as two research institutes and the Education-Psychology Library, are housed in Tolman Hall. 

UC’s proposal for the 2014-15 appropriations under AB 94 would allow UC Berkeley to move forward with this State eligible project in lieu of waiting for a State General Obligation bond measure.  The proposed scope of the replacement building would yield the same amount of assignable square feet in a functional and safe building located on property in Berkeley that the University already owns.  The new building is necessary in order to provide a safe–environment for our faculty, students, and staff and the larger Berkeley community who frequent Tolman Hall.

It has been 25 years since the Loma Prieta earthquake, 17 years since the initial 1997 seismic report, and 3 years since the 2011 retrofit assessment reports that included a letter from the Chair of the Campus Seismic Safety Committee, Professor Filippou, to former Chancellor Birgeneau communicating the urgent and unsafe state of Tolman Hall.  Therefore, there is a moral imperative to take action now to address this critical safety issue without further delay. I urge you to work to approve this project for the state capital improvements list for 2014-15.



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