Campus leaders, faculty and community members of the UC Berkeley College of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS) celebrated the “topping out” of the new Gateway building on June 7. Construction workers placed the final steel beam onto the building, recognition of a major milestone for the future home of Berkeley’s first new college in 50 years.

This state-of-the-art building, which will be located on Hearst Avenue at Arch Street at a prominent access point for the campus, will serve as a vibrant collaboration hub for more than 1,300 faculty, students, staff and researchers.

“This is so important to the Berkeley community. It's core to our aspirations, our design, our work,” said Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, standing next to the Gateway construction site. “I'm grateful to campus, to the CDSS leadership, and for all the resilient teamwork of faculty and staff in helping to turn the vision for this modern building into a reality for the future.”

Turner Construction will now continue erecting the 367,270-square-foot building, which is expected to open in the 2025-2026 academic year. Berkeley broke ground in September 2022 on the building designed by Weiss/Manfredi in collaboration with Gensler of San Francisco.

The Gateway will serve as a foundational pillar that will accelerate the bold vision of the new college, said Jennifer Chayes, dean of the College of Computing, Data Science, and Society. The college aims “to create accessible and equitable data science and computing educational opportunities and to catalyze groundbreaking research to meet society’s greatest challenges in biomedicine and health, climate and sustainability, public service and more,” she said.

The Gateway will offer a nexus for interdisciplinary partners to envision, discover and enact the future of technology. This building will include a lower-level convening space. Above that, there will be five floors of dedicated research laboratories, classrooms and auditoriums, seminar and conference rooms, offices, social kitchens and a rooftop event space.

“We very much look forward to the Gateway providing new opportunities for collaboration across the new college and across the campus,” said Chayes. “Thank you to Chancellor Christ, campus leaders, faculty and staff who have supported us in the development of the college and this building and have served on numerous planning committees. We are really grateful for your partnership and service.”

The structure that Christ named the “crown jewel” of Berkeley’s Light the Way fundraising campaign has garnered philanthropic gifts from the campus community and others, illustrating the groundswell of enthusiasm for the new college. It also highlights excitement around the Gateway, which will be the first post-pandemic building on campus.

A $252 million gift from an anonymous donor — then the largest gift in Berkeley’s history — in 2020 catalyzed the design and planning for the Gateway in 2020. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences faculty members Scott Shenker and Ion Stoica and an anonymous donor each gave $25 million to support the building’s construction and the creation of new faculty positions.

The college is seeking additional pioneering donors to make their mark on the trailblazing mission for the college to include this building Chayes called “an amazing place of possibility.” University and college leaders aim to secure another $215 million in philanthropy by the end of 2025 to address the full cost of constructing the building and advancing the vision and impact of the College of Computing, Data Science, and Society.