A New Vision for the Berkeley Chess School!
Our Goal is in Sight!
Our building permit has been approved by the City of Berkeley, and we are ready to break ground! Please help improve ADA access to the Berkeley Chess School with a donation to our Building Fund!
Thanks to the generosity of our community, the Berkeley Chess School will break ground on our front entrance renovation project in fall of 2022! The expanded entryway will house a lift, restoring ADA access to our building, a critical and urgent need.
Generous donations from the Rock Foundation, the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation, and BCS board members Dr. Andrew Lazarus and Dr. Wendy Muse Sinek led the way. Jasmit Rangr of Rangr Studio designed our beautiful new front entrance, featuring a two-story high, chessboard window, for a fraction of his professional fee. We owe a special debt of gratitude to Mr. Rangr for shepherding us through the building permit application process; no small feat when proposing to renovate a 1925 structure that had undergone two earlier expansions with fragments of permit records.
The project had its genesis in 2017, when the Berkeley Chess School purchased a 6,500 square foot building at 2622 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley. We were thrilled to find a building that met our needs for less than what we had been paying in rent; and a home for Bay Area chess players in perpetuity!
But every new homeowner has a surprise. Berkeley’s antiquated plumbing grid placed our lateral pipe under an adjacent parcel, and it had to be moved in a hurry to accommodate Berkeley’s newest medical center going up next door. Our building’s ADA ramp, installed in 1983, had to be removed for the lateral reroute, but could not be replaced at the site because of changes to the building code. The most practical solution was to expand the front entrance (Now everyone will come in through the front door!), but even a modest change in the building’s façade triggered the need for a fire sprinkler system; important, but expensive, safety infrastructure that moved our fundraising goal posts further out.
With the help and support of our community, we have almost reached our goal!