Construction to Begin on Parking Structure in 2005

El Vaquero Staff Writer

The perpetual sounds of students honking their horns while desperately cruising the lots for parking spaces may be a thing of the past when a new parking structure is completed sometime in 2006.

Set to begin construction in 2005, the new structure at the upper parking lot will have 1,160 stalls, more than quadrupling the 250 in the Civic Auditorium Garage.

“Though we have not decided on how many stalls will be allocated for staff parking, the majority of the stalls will be for students,” said Director of Business Services William Taylor.

Approximately 300 spaces on the upper lot will be replaced, for a net gain of 860 spaces.

The structure is estimated to cost $14 million, or about $16,000 per space. It will be funded entirely by Measure G, a local revenue bond passed in March of 2002 that gave GCC $98 million for such projects.
The remaining upper parking lot will be realigned and several concrete islands will be strategically placed.

The two-tiered structure will have six levels on the east side, and four levels on the west. The north end of the structure will have two elevators.

An elevator tower and bridge will be built to take students from campus elevation to the first floor of the parking structure, though the two stairways will remain.

Since the garage will be built on sloped ground, it will have three entrances on different levels for easier access.

According to Taylor, the structure may also have energy panels on the top levels and will use sunlight to generate electricity for the new garage. However, he believes there will be a surplus of electricity that can be used for the campus as well.

The city is interested in working with the college to provide the energy panels, though the plan has yet to be approved. If authorized, this feature would be in line with the school’s new environmental standards. The two main entrances to the upper parking lot on Mountain Street will be closed and a new signalized entrance will be built further south to help the flow of traffic from the 2 Freeway.

The structure will be designed by International Parking Design of Sherman Oaks, while the surface area will be designed by Spencer Hoskins, the college’ s architects. The building contractor has yet to be selected.

The construction has been delayed until April 2005 because its construction overlaps that of the proposed Allied Health Maintenance and Operation Aviation Building, which will break ground in 2004. The construction of the new Allied Health Building will take 18 to 24 months to complete and will require the closure of staff parking lot G.

“Though student parking will be impacted, we are working on some options to minimize the impact, ” said Taylor. Though parking has been scarce during peak hours, the college has been actively working toward finding solutions. According to Taylor, Glendale Parking Facilities Joint Powers Authority (JPA) was created in 1998 to find alternatives for student parking. That same year, the two college representatives and
two city representatives comprising the board approved the construction of the upper parking lot. The school is still paying back revenue bonds to the JPA for its construction.

Though it will be owned by the college, the new garage will be operated by JPA, which currently operates the other parking lots at GCC. It also operates the Civic Auditorium Garage and Lot C on Verdugo Road, which are owned by the city.

With an environmental impact report to be completed in spring of 2004, design development is scheduled to be done by May of 2004 and will go into plan check the following June.

Completion is set for March of 2006.

“Based on our current growth expectations, the 1,160-stall garage should meet our requirement for parking on this campus for now and the foreseeable future,” said Taylor.