Approximately 60 faculty, administrators and students from the University, members of Bomel Construction and representatives of the City of La Verne City Council attended the new parking structure groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 8 in the area formally known as Lot D.
The $16 million parking structure is the first building of the University’s new Master Plan. It will have four stories and five levels with 940 parking spaces. There will also be a surrounding parking lot with 150 spaces.
The structure will also house Campus Safety and Transportation Services.
“This is double the requirement of the city formula,” said Clive Houston-Brown, vice president for facilities and technology, referring to the number of parking spaces the city requires the University to have.
“We want to be ready for a new residential hall and new academic buildings. We want the structure to take us to the future.”
University President Devorah Lieberman and City of La Verne Mayor Don Kendrick also attended the groundbreaking ceremony and spoke about the future of the parking structure.
“By building this parking lot, we give everyone the chance to grow,” Kendrick said.
Kendrick and Lieberman both believe the decision to build the structure is beneficial to the University and the city.
“I want to thank everyone for convincing me that this is the right decision and to maintain a beautiful relationship with the city of La Verne, our neighbors, the suitability of the future and everyone involved,” Lieberman said.
The University is striving for an environmentally friendly approach for the upcoming parking structure.
The new structure meets the California Buildings Standards Commission’s CALGreen energy requirements for heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), sustainability and commissioning.
There will be 500-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array at the top floor to power the new parking structure, surrounding parking lot and Leo Park, and LED lighting will be used inside the structure to maximize energy efficiency.
There will also be electric vehicle charging stations inside the structure. The plantings and irrigation are also sustainable. The asphalt from Lot D is being recycled.
The University received approval to start construction a month ago from the City of La Verne Planning Commission Committee, said Chip West, assistant vice president of capital planning, facilities and space management.
“I think it’s going to be a state of the art and a good thing to the parking situation and allow the University to focus more on other strategic initiatives,” West said.
Larry Pirkle, assistant director of capitol planning, said the new parking structure will have the same colors and theme as Vista La Verne. He personally likes the design and the way it looks in the building plan.
Pirkle is looking forward to the completion of the parking structure, and he believes it will be completed on time.
“I think it’s the only way to solve the parking situation to allow more buildings on campus (since the parking structure is the first phrase of the Master Plan),” Pirkle said.
The University did not build a multilevel parking structure in the space of the off-campus shuttle parking lot, Lot S, because having it on-campus would be more convenient to students and encourage them to use it more.
“Given the premise of the size it needed, it wouldn’t fit in shuttle Lot S,” Pirkle said.
The new structure is scheduled to be ready in time for the 2016 – 2017 academic year.
For now, only staff and resident students can park at designated lots on campus while commuter students have to park in off-campus shuttle lots – Lot S, located on A Street, or Lot T, located at Fairplex Gate 17 on McKinley Avenue.
After Oct. 23, Lot T will move from Gate 17 to Gate 23, on Arrow Highway.
For more information on parking, visit sites.laverne.edu/parking.
Cody Luk can be reached at email@example.com.