Walls of Champions clad in cherry wood run throughout the Center. Tracey Taylor/Berkleyside
Walls of Champions clad in cherry wood run throughout the Center. Tracey Taylor/Berkleyside

In a photo-heavy post, the local blog Berkeleyside calls it Cal’s “newest, most discreet, building.” But it’s not a secret lab. The article showcases the athletic center underneath the Cal Stadium that will “cater to 400 student athletes” when it opens this fall.

The building is being paid for with privately raised funds. It comes at a time that Berkeley is in the middle of a fight about the future of several of its athletic teams.

The piece is also interesting in contrast to a story in last week’s student paper — the Daily Calabout the school’s psychology building. That’s in such seismic disrepair that they’ve moved the classes that are held there. Professors still have offices there.

After the Cal baseball team’s truly inspired and inspiring year, it’s hard to underestimate the value of a school’s sports programs.  But in light of all the economic bad news and potential for even more belt-tightening at the state’s schools, the question about the fundraising power of academics v. sports is an interesting one.

And certainly not isolated to Cal. Here’s an interesting post from the Chronicle of Higher Education with data from the Knight Center on Intercollegiate Athletics. It shows increasing spending on athletics while academic spending at the same universities stayed flat.

For anyone local interested in the stadium work on top of this building, Berkeleyside reports:

A public hearing on the stadium, to discuss modifications to its Environmental Impact Report, takes place on Tuesday August 9 at 7 p.m. at the International House, 2299 Piedmont Avenue. Visit the project website for information.

Cal Athletics Gets a New $150 Million Building 10 August,2011Rachel Dornhelm


Rachel Dornhelm

Rachel Dornhelm has worked as a reporter, editor and producer in public radio for the last twelve years. She got her start in New York City at WNYC and went on to work with the national business program Marketplace, WBUR’s “On Point” and KQED News in San Francisco. Her work has been honored by the LA Press Club and the SF-Peninsula Press Club.

Rachel has a BA with honors in anthropology from Rice University and did graduate work at NYU.

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