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News Briefs

People standing next to pool.

Coach Dave Durden and Cal men’s swimming team members check out the new pool.

Hulda Nelson

Legends Aquatic Center nears completion

Now, the future of these student-athletes and Cal Athletics looks even brighter with the arrival of Legends Aquatic Center, scheduled to open in late September. Located on Bancroft Way, next to the Tang Center, it’s designed primarily for the training of Cal’s intercollegiate swimmers, divers and water polo players.  Legends Aquatic Center is complete with a 52-meter pool, a team room, locker rooms with radiant heat flooring, outdoor videoboards and Berkeley’s first diving tower, which is 10 meters (about three stories) tall with a glass-enclosed stairwell.

The diving tower is especially welcomed since our divers’ only access to a tower was available at Stanford.  “It’s been hard for recruiting and challenging for the men and women who’ve had to drive 45 miles to Palo Alto two times a week,” adds McKeever. “And it’s been hard on the program from a competitive standpoint.” Since swimmers and divers are on the same team, the team suffers at meets if there aren’t enough divers to earn points in diving events.
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Berkeley rocks the 2016 Summer Olympics

Ryan Murphy on podium

Ryan Murphy, a second-year student at Berkeley, shown at the Olympic trials, went on to win three gold medals at the Olympic Games in Rio.

Fall sports

Golden Bears climbing the charts

Water polo and football player

Cal football is back in action in Strawberry Canyon this fall with the Golden Bears hosting an impressive schedule of opponents at Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium. The six-game slate features Texas, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Stanford and UCLA.

Cal is coming off a 2015 season that saw the Bears finish 8-5 overall with an Armed Forces Bowl victory over Air Force. While quarterback Jared Goff­—the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft­—is gone, the roster features a number of talented student-athletes who are sure to keep Cal’s high-powered offense running smoothly. Among those to watch are running backs Tre Watson and Khalfani Muhammad and quarterback Davis Webb, who have all been chosen preseason honors candidates.

In addition to football, many of Cal’s 30 intercollegiate sports will also be in action during the fall. Volleyball season starts in late August with all home matches in Haas Pavilion, and the Bears’ men’s and women’s soccer teams will field strong lineups once again at Edwards Field. In addition, the men’s water polo team will be seeking a berth in the NCAA Championship rounds, which will be held at Spieker Aquatics Complex Dec. 2-4. Field hockey, rugby 7s and cross-country round out the programs in season during the fall.

Elena Zhukova photo

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs retires

After 35 years of service to UC Berkeley, Harry Le Grande will retire from his position as Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs on Dec.r 31. During his time at Berkeley, he created the innovative financial aid program Middle Class Access Plan, celebrated the opening of the new ASUC Student Union, launched the campus’s first-ever office for confidential care advocates to support survivors of gendered violence or harassment, oversaw the largest housing development program the campus ever undertook, created the first university dining service certified organic salad bar, and much more. Throughout his career he has been driven by the mantra that “students are not an interruption to our day; they are the reason we are here.” His leadership and dedication to student life will be missed.

Wheeler Hall gets modernized, green infrastructure

Exciting updates are underway at Wheeler Hall as it approaches its 100th birthday.

Elena Zhukova photo

Wheeler Hall is closed now through May 2017 for an extensive renewal project that includes new mechanical and electrical systems, telecommunications infrastructure, elevator replacement, roofing and waterproofing systems replacement and accessibility and life safety system improvements.

The hall was built in the center of campus in 1917 and was named for Benjamin Ide Wheeler, university president during Berkeley’s “golden years” from 1899 to 1919. The French Baroque facade includes arched doorways leading into a vaulted auditorium lobby, Ionic columns across the middle floors and a colonnade ornamented with urn-shaped lamps symbolizing, according to designer and first campus architect John Galen Howard, “the light of learning.” Though some minor window updates will be made, the outside of the building is slated to stay the same. The lobby is getting new flooring and better lighting. Wheeler Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

All building projects and major renovations in the University of California system are required to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification or higher, and the Wheeler project is expected to rank Silver or better. Highlights of the project’s green initiatives are new energy-efficient light fixtures and more conservative water faucets and other plumbing.

Wheeler is home to the English department, the College Writing Programs, Summer Sessions and various other units and programs. It also holds an auditorium that seats 700. While Wheeler is getting its touchup, classes, offices and computer space have been moved to overflow locations on campus. Construction should be completed by the end of the Spring 2017 semester.

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