Upper campus parking lot project put on hold

Erica Kurvach, Staff Reporter
November 30, 2012

The $800,000 construction project for the Kraus Hall parking lot was to be finished by this past summer, but the project was put on hold last spring due to the cost.

The new parking lot would have given Rhoads and North Hall residents and students with classes on upper campus more convenient spaces to park.

Former president, Dr. Robert Smith, gave the consent to demolish Kraus Hall and build more parking spaces. However, acting president, Charles Curry, stopped the project since it was expensive and the University was changing presidents.

Mr. Herbert Carlson, the assistant vice president for Construction, Design and Management, had to send contractors to remove Asbestos out of the building.

“Asbestos is gone in the building,” Carlson said. “It is gutted out and has been removed in the bathroom. The building inside is pretty much bare walls.”
President Cheryl Norton allowed the project to stay on hold and wants to study about another option to reduce the cost, according to Carlson.

As a result, they have two options to decide from. One way is to take a closer look at how Kraus building might be used. Secondly, they can hire a facility master planning firm to look at all of the buildings to study broader issues of the campus.

“We have to consider in tough budget times and consider the best option,” Carlson said.

In the meantime, Norton and Carlson are deciding where they want the University to be in the future.

Currently, the Miller Auditorium is being renovated. Projects coming up are the modification to McKay Education building and the conversion of the University Union.

Carlson is also facing new environmental legal regulations. One of the new major requirements is to have an infiltration system.

This system requires Carlson to build parking lots designed in a way that will allow storm water to run off the yard, releasing slowly and giving a chance to percolate into the soil of the property. Before this new regulation, the storm water had to run off the lawn and did not have to saturate into the soil.

Last year’s estimated cost for both the Robert M. Smith Student Center and Patterson Hall and Kraus Hall parking lots were $1.4 million. That price included the realignment of Morrow Way.

One may notice the Smith Student Center’s rain garden by the entrance which is another storm water system.

Carlson said that the East and West Lake parking lots are good because the water flows down and off the parking lot. The Facilities and Planning Department’s original approach to building this parking lot is to use penetrable pavement that will allow rain water to saturate into it.

The Kraus Hall parking lot, located on South Main Street, is still open to campus residents.

The building used to be a residence hall and is closed for 2012 to 2013 year, according to Student Consumer Information. The building was constructed in 1966.

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