BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — UC Berkeley will become the first college in California to build a gender neutral locker room inside its campus gym.
Currently at the UC Berkeley Recreational Sports Facility, there is a men’s locker room and a women’s locker room.
But a planned 4,500 square foot addition will also make a place for gender nonconforming individuals, as well as disabled students who have assistance from someone of a different gender.
“It will be gender inclusive. The idea is that it’s open to all,” said Andy Davis, Communications Manager for the UC Berkeley Department of Recreational Sports. “Anyone who has an interest in an additional level of privacy.”
The planned $2.7 million locker room is funded by a $54 student fee. The locker room will include partition showers and private changing rooms.
“We worked with campus students across campus making sure this was an initiative they were interested and passionate about, and we’ve seen nothing but the same,” said Davis.
The big problem for gender nonconforming individuals has been that students can only access to swimming pool by going through either the men’s or women’s locker room.
“We wanted to use this as a means to help eliminate those barriers and make the facilities safe and welcoming to all,” explained Davis.
The University plants to break ground on the locker room next spring with plans to open in the fall of 2018.