Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Students return to Baggins End domes at UC Davis

Oberlin College students Anna Aronowitz and Uma Venkatraman examine a mural in progress by artist Danielle Fodor in Dome 6 on Monday. The pair are part of a team to work on sustainability projects during their month-long internship. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

Just in time for the start of winter classes on Monday, students have moved back into some of the Domes at Baggins End, a small housing community at UC Davis with a 40-year history of sustainability.

The Solar Community Housing Association of Davis and UCD signed on Dec. 23 a long-awaited ground lease for the association to be a third-party manager for the Domes. And following association-led repairs, university safety inspectors approved occupancy for seven of the 14 Domes last Wednesday.

The housing association, a local nonprofit that has provided environmentally conscious and affordable cooperative housing in the city of Davis since 1979, already has students interested in living in the other Domes when they are ready. The Domes cooperative, which housed a total of 28 students last year, had been vacant since early August.

“The reopening of the Domes demonstrates how community support and participation, open dialogue, and collaboration can make large projects happen, even in a time of austerity,” said Greta Lelea, who is a member of the association’s board of directors as well as a UCD post-doctoral researcher and a former Domes resident.

Mary Hayakawa, executive director of the real estate services at UCD, led the university’s efforts to negotiate with the association for the ground lease and a license that allowed repair work to begin in advance of the lease signing.

“We are pleased to begin this new partnership that will allow the cherished heritage of the Domes to continue,” she said.

Innovative structures when they were first built, the Domes have served as a demonstration of eco-friendly living and have been the subject of research, tours and even UCD courses.

Concerns arose last year with a report of degradation of the foam structure within the Domes. University officials and independent inspectors identified numerous structural, health and safety, and fire code issues along with the need for improvements required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Citing costs to remedy the problems, the university announced last February that it would not re-offer the 40-year-old structures for lease when agreements expired at the end of July. As a self-supporting unit, Student Housing, which oversaw the Domes, does not receive state or campus funding; each housing area must operate as a self-supporting unit.

Domes residents voiced concern for keeping their community together in the short term while the university’s Sustainable Living and Learning Task Force explored the long-term future for sustainable student living-learning communities on campus. They had an outpouring of support from the university community, alumni and supporters from the broader region.

In March, the association submitted a proposal to step in as a third-party management group, repair the Domes and lease them to students for the next five years. For about eight months, university and association representatives — including doctoral student and Domes resident JayLee Tuil and SCHA Project Manager Ben Pearl — met to address health and safety concerns and negotiate the ground lease.

To reach the agreement, the association provided sufficient capitalization or guaranties and insurance and met other requirements to use a licensed architect to prepare plans and licensed contractors to lead the repair work.

At a November work party, about 450 volunteers — including carpenters and contractors — completed about 90 percent of the necessary repairs from painting to installing new ventilation. Local artists created tile mosaics and large-scale murals, and local businesses and restaurants donated materials and food.

The association has hired contractors to make one of the Domes wheelchair-accessible and renovate another to be a welcome dome with an office for coordinating projects. That work is scheduled to be completed by July.

Students moving in are eager to expand the legacy of the Domes.

“It’s exciting to have a small part in the large community effort to save the Domes and see them re-inhabited,” said Sheryl Sensenig, a new resident studying agricultural and environmental education at UCD.

Lelea said volunteers and support to help re-establish the community have come from many directions.

“This is bigger than just housing,” she said. “It is about how to live in a more sustainable and cooperative world.”

A team of five students from Oberlin College, in Ohio, will work on sustainability projects during a monthlong internship.

“The story of the Domes is very compelling to members of other student co-ops,” said Isabel Call, a former resident of the Domes and an alumna of Oberlin College.

The Berkeley Student Cooperative has provided $20,000 of financial support for renovations and repairs, $10,000 of which was matched by contributions individual donors.

SCHA operates three other housing cooperatives in Davis: Sunwise, J Street and the newly opened Cornucopia Corner Co-op.

— UC Davis News Service

Special to The Enterprise

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • J. Austin KerrJanuary 12, 2012 - 9:34 am

    Yay Oberlin students! For those interested in sustainability project, I think you'd also be interested in reading about the Oberlin Project. In brief, "The Oberlin Project is a joint effort of the City of Oberlin, Oberlin College, and private and institutional partners to improve the resilience, prosperity, and sustainability of the community. The Oberlin Project's aim is to revitalize the local economy, eliminate carbon emissions, restore local agriculture, food supply and forestry, and create a new, sustainable base for economic and community development." For more info see http://chronicle.com/article/A-College-Town-Imagines-a-New/129650/ and http://oberlinproject.org/ Please excuse the shamelessness of this plug.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

    Going green at church, school, everywhere

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    UCD to host Global Health Day event

    By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

    Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    ‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Volunteers needed for Grad Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis grad makes rain collection a business

    By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    A few spots left on history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Event to provide nature scholarship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Online K-12 school holds info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Schwenger lawn signs available

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Students have new options on leasing front

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Groups join for a day of service

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Food for the hungry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

    .

    Forum

    Dad makes mom look bad

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    UCD IS responsible for students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    In search of great ideas

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

     
    Please keep the nursery open

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Early help is a great investment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    More tax money? Answer the question

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    .

    Sports

    Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    ‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

    Jamie Madison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Yolo FCU

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Acacia at Huntington Square

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Travis Credit Union

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

    Kim Eichorn

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Suzanne Kimmel

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Lynne Wegner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Kim Merrel Lamb

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Chris Snow

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Patricia Echevarria

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Don Guthrie

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Andrew Dowling

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Sheryl Patterson

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

    Julie Partain & Dick Partain

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Heather Barnes

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Malek Baroody

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

    Karen Waggoner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Willowbank Park

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Team Traverso

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Julie Leonard

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tim Harrison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tracy Harris

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Lori Prizmich

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Raul Zamora

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Joe Kaplan

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

    Open House Map

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20