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As of Sept. 23, 2016

The Hall opening to our 183 residents on Aug. 20.  On the next week-end the Alumni Association hosted about 850 people.

About 500 toured the Hall from top to bottom: The Attic (with preserved grafitti), visited some student rooms, then the Matteson Lounge, Dining Commons, the Hart Library and the Pierano Game Room.

The Dedication Ceremony began at 1:00 PM with remarks by Clark Construction, EdR (the business manager) and several Bowlesmen volunteering on the project.

A social hour ran from 3:00 PM until about 5:00PM. It concluded with a visit from the Cal Band which played the Bowles Hall Drinking Song and several Cal songs. By the way, the Hall Drinking Song now has three verses honoring the Hall and its women and men.

Then we had a final summary from Bob Sales, Foundation President and Chancellor Dirks.  The even was capped off with a buffet dinner for about 400 people. The Hall residents were our guests for dinner.

The Bowles Hall Transformation Was Completed August 4, 2016

Bowles Hall closed for remodeling June, 2015 for a complete transformation.

Clark Construction started with a complete demolition of all demising walls on the residential floors 1 through 7. Inside, Bowles Hall became a ‘see though’ building. It was then a cement shell. The elevator was removed and its shaft became a refuse shaft.

Work started at upper floors progressing downward. In the Attic, ventilation equipment sprouted. On the Seventh Floor work started on ventilation, power and water for the new rooms. At the same time early work began on Floor One to create a show-piece suite for prospective 2016 residents to evaluate.

Over the next nine months reconstruction continued from Floor Seven downward with the addition of walls, plumbing, drop ceiling, flooring and now furnishing. The kitchen has been completely rebuilt with a two level addition. Its second floor becomes the new Game Room. The old Game Room becomes study cubicles.

The project finished right on target thanks to Clark Construction, EdR (the facility manager), and the generous efforts of a many volunteers, mostly former Bowlesmen.

How We Got Here

The ten years of ‘heavy lifting’ by our alumni and key leaders spanned from May, 2005 until the final approval by the UC Board of Regents in 2014. Note the heavy lifting still continues with even greater momentum during reconstruction!

UC Regents approve the Bowles Hall Plan!

On March 20, 2014, the UC Board of Regents approved our proposal to renovate and refurnish Bowles Hall and reestablish the Hall as a residential college! With the signing of the Ground Lease, the Bowles Hall Foundation became the owner and independent operator of Bowles Hall for 45 years.

This is the first time that UC has agreed to allow a private entity to control and operate a University facility for an extended period of time.

We concluded the 45-year Ground Lease with the University in June, 2015, at the same time negotiating the Development Agreement with Education Realty Trust (EdR). Construction design was completed by PYATOK Architects (Oakland) in May 2015. Clark Builders (Los Angeles) immediately began the renovation, with completion scheduled for August 4, 2016. Refurnishing, shake-down and reopening as a residential college will occur in August 2016.

Our Team

This process became possible because of the efforts of many UC and our own BHAA people—too many to call out here. But we must recognize the extraordinary impact of the support of UCB Chancellor Dirks; Vice Chancellors Wilton (Finance) and Lalanne (Real Estate); Professors Bob Jacobsen, Panos Papadopoulos and Chris Kutz; and your BHAA leaders Bob Sayles, (BHF President), John Baker, John Woods, Tom Mader, Bob Thompson and Bill Harris. Now, the Regents, the UC system and Berkeley campus, and Foundation leadership, the Bowles and Hart families, and certainly your Bowles Hall Alumni Association and Foundation, recognize the value of iconic Bowles Hall, the experience of those who have lived and will live there, and our active Alumni Association.

In addition to the physical restoration of the Hall, we have financed of this project, primarily through revenue bonds underwritten by Raymond James and philanthropic support led by Chuck Sizemore. We invite you to add your experience and resources as this project approaches completion.

Our  architectural firm —PYATOK architecture + urban design — has found a way to design and devote more space to create study rooms/areas throughout the Hall and has also carved out  places for communal printers so residents don’t need them in their rooms.

The overall approach and work plans received positive feedback when shared with various groups such as the City of Berkeley’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.

PYATOK has also selected the furnishings for the student rooms, deciding on a modular line that can be customized depending on the preferences of the students. The team has also been hard at work determining the color and finish of furnishings (i.e. chairs, tables, upholstery, you name it) for the Lounge and other public spaces.

Professor Maria Mavroudi and Dr. Patricia Matteson guided the selection of furniture, design and materials for the Lounge, Dining Commons and Hart Library.

Impact Beyond The Hall, Itself

The approval of the Bowles Hall project is very important to Cal. There are many facilities at Berkeley in dire need of renovation or new construction, but Berkeley’s limits on available funding for such projects is well known. Therefore, the public/private partnership model, as proposed for the Bowles Hall renovation, is attractive. Our project requires no UC Berkeley investment in renovation or new construction nor operation or maintenance expense for the term of the ground lease. Our project is viewed as the “poster boy” for this innovative financing plan for Cal’s high-priority real estate projects.

Bowles Hall Foundation Assumed Leading Role  — February 15, 2014

With the approval of our proposal by the UC Board of Regents, the Bowles Hall Foundation (BHF), a 501(c)3 entity, moved to the leadership role, as we contract with UC for the ground lease and with our developer, bond underwriter, property manager, food service provider and other business partners of this newly created enterprise. As tax-exempt “owners” of Bowles Hall, the Bowles Hall Foundation will be free of the burden of Alameda County real estate taxes (estimated to be approximately $500,000 per year).

The Bowles Hall Alumni Association, originally formed to create and gain approval of the proposal to renovate and re-establish the Hall as a residential college will continue to function as the public arm of the Bowles Hall Foundation. Hence, it will be integrated into BHF. BHAA will continue to maintain membership rolls and leadership. Dues payments have been replaced by tax-deductible annual giving programs [link to Fundraising report below].

 BHF Fundraising Report

One of the key determinants in gaining the University’s attention and approvals has been the involvement and financial support of so many Bowles Hall alumni and friends. Early in the process, hundreds of alumni and friends pledged multi-year commitments which enabled planning and implementation of the Hall’s architectural and financial models. While most donors originally made their commitments contingent upon University approval of the project, many have graciously waived the contingencies to enable the Foundation’s work to continue apace. The goal of alumni funding totals $3.0 million.

To date, alumni have provided funding for the Foundation approximately $2.18 million (cash and pledges) of the $3.0 million needed. Alumni and friends may also assist the Foundation by making annual gifts to defray BHF’s operating costs.

Our capital campaign includes these efforts:

  • One-time gifts or pledges.
  • Sign up for alumni events.
  • Receive the latest information on gifts of appreciated securities (tax deduction for the securities’ full fair market value and pay no capital gains tax) or IRA holdings (up to $100,000 and counts against the required minimum distribution).
  • Make gifts to commemorate a life milestone (birthday or anniversary) or in honor/memory of a classmate, friend, or family member.
  • View available naming opportunities at the Hall.

Learn more about how to donate.