Jan 272009
Authors: Tyler Okland

CSU began construction on another campus project Tuesday afternoon, breaking ground on the four-story, 834-space Lake Street Parking Garage.

Students, faculty and employees braved the bitter January cold to witness the first step in constructing the $22 million facility.

The need for the new parking structure comes as a byproduct of other construction projects on campus, said Brian Chase, director of Facilities Management.

“A couple of the parking lots are coming down, such as (the parking lot) south of Clark, where the academic study building will be,” Chase said. “We’re also losing a few spaces where the Rockwall Hall School of Business is at, so we thought that a good location for a parking lot would be just south of Yates Hall.”

Quinn Girrens, the vice president of the Associated Students of CSU, said she believes the new garage will relieve parking space issues.

“We can help alleviate a lot of the problems we are currently facing with this facility,” Girrens said.

The structure will feature more than 2,700-square-feet of retail space, which Chase said “could house businesses such as Starbucks.” In addition, 3,700-square-feet will be devoted to an office complex to be leased by Parking Services.

Along with creating more spaces for on-campus parking, Facilities Management and Parking Services officials said, and the building could receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification, the first in the state.

Solar panels mounted to the roof of the facility could lead to the building’s certification, along with generating electricity and promoting sustainable practices.

“I don’t know of anyone else here in Front Range who’s doing that,” Chase said. “What’s more, this will help lower Colorado State University’s carbon footprint.”

“When we started planning this building, there was no facility in the country that was LEED certified,” said Dave Bradford, commander of Parking Services. “A couple other places have beat us to it now, but I think ours is better designed; so I think we will still be showing them up.”

Aside from the Lake Street Parking Complex, several other projects are currently under construction, including: the Rockwell Hall School of Business addition, the Academic Instruction building, and the Academic Village additions, the new indoor practice facility and the academic training facility.

“We all know that there’s budget cuts, but when you look at what the commitment is you realize the Board of Governors want to make sure that the students here get quality facilities,” Chase said.

Despite the strain these construction projects have on the CSU budget, Interim Provost Rick Miranda said he is pleased with the facility designs.

“We’re going put up really one of the nicer facilities in the city,” Miranda said. “I think it’s going to be a wonderful addition to the CSU community.”

Staff writer Tyler Okland can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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