December 10, 2001 Vol. VI, No. 8

New Parking Structure to Add More Than 1,000 Spaces

Project, Funded From Campus Parking Fees, to Begin This Spring and Open in Spring 2003

The Cal State Northridge community will gain more than 1,000 parking spaces, and a large section of the west campus will be enhanced, through a new parking structure and an adjoining road project soon to start construction just west of the Business and Education buildings.

University officials say they expect to start construction at about the end of the spring semester on a four-level, 1,391-space parking structure (artist's rendering right)at the northwest corner of Vincennes Street and Etiwanda Avenue. The new structure will be sited where the old Provost's Dome was located in Parking Lot B-5.

The $14 million project, funded with employee and student parking fees, will be the first parking structure built on the campus in a decade upon its scheduled opening in spring 2003. Because it will displace some current surface parking, the structure's net gain in parking will be more than 1,000 spaces.

Meanwhile, contractors are scheduled to begin work early in the spring semester on a separate project to redo the adjoining block of Etiwanda Avenue between Vincennes and Plummer streets with new paving, a palm tree-lined median and full sidewalks and curbs on both sides. Federal earthquake recovery funds are paying for that work.

Campus architect Deborah Wylie said the combined effect of the two projects will be to substantially increase the university's parking supply while also beautifying a large segment of the campus. "These are two very attractive and practical projects that should dramatically improve that area of the campus," Wylie said.

During the street reconstruction project, which is expected to last much of the spring semester because of the extent of the work, Etiwanda between Vincennes and Plummer will always remain open to vehicle traffic. But use of the one-block segment will be narrowed to one lane, Wylie said.

The street project is expected to be well along by the time construction begins on the parking structure. At that point, about 400 surface parking spaces in Lot B-5 on the construction site will be removed. But by that time, the university expects to have added at least that many new spaces in nearby Lot D-6 east of the Art and Design Center.

Wylie said various projects around campus have been planned so that the university is always gaining in its overall parking supply, even when some areas are taken out of use for construction. The new parking in Lot D-6 due this spring will replace the now vacated Halsted House portable classrooms area.

When the new 426,500-square-foot parking structure is completed, Lot B-5 west of the Business and Education complex will have 1,781 parking spaces, 1,391 in the structure and 390 remaining surface spaces north of the structure toward Plummer. The structure has been designed by Fields and Devereaux, the campus' consulting architects.(The project's site plan shows the layout of the structure and adjoining surface parking to the north at right)

The following is additional background information on the structure:

Landscaping: The project will leave in place the existing stand of mature cedar, sycamore and palm trees in the parkway area along the north side of Vincennes between Etiwanda and Darby avenues. Landscaping also will be provided at the west wall to soften the exposure to the adjoining apartment complex.

Vehicle Access: All vehicles will enter and exit the structure from the Darby Avenue right-of-way on the west side of the site. Drivers will be able to travel between the structure and the adjoining surface lot without using campus or city streets. The structure's ramps will be arranged so vehicles can navigate quickly up and down through the different levels without having to drive throughout each floor.

Pedestrian Traffic: There will be exit stairs at all four corners of the structure, and two elevators will be located near the intersection of Etiwanda Avenue and Vincennes Street. Pedestrians will be encouraged to cross at marked crosswalks only. Crossing Etiwanda will be emphasized at Vincennes and Plummer streets. Crosswalks will be striped at both entries to the Business and Education complex along Etiwanda.

Security: Security in the structure will be enhanced because of its largely flat floors, providing good visibility for users and for potential security cameras. Openings around the exterior of the structure are evenly distributed, providing good day lighting inside.

Exterior Design: Components have been chosen to complement existing materials used on campus. Campus brick will be used on the prominent exterior elevator/stair tower at the southeast corner, and on lower walls along the east and south perimeters of the project.

Concrete shear walls on the structure's exterior will be painted similar to colors used on the Sierra Complex. The west face of the structure will be primarily a solid wall to minimize light and noise to the adjoining residential area. The west face also will have translucent "KalWall" panels like those used on the nearby Central Plant project.

Seismic Safety: The project is designed as a poured-in-place concrete structure, substantially stronger than the pre-cast parking structure formerly located in Parking Lot C. Substantial concrete shear walls on all four sides of the new structure will provide seismic strength.

@csun | December 10, 2001 issue
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