With increasing student enrollment, loss of parking due to construction, and changes to the City of Golden’s parking regulations, Mines faces a parking strain likely to worsen in the next several years. As such, campus architects have proposed the addition of a parking garage by fall 2019 and will officially present plans for Board of Trustees approval shortly.
“It will be a net add of 600 spaces,” said Chris Cocallas, Mines’ Executive Director of Capital Planning and Design.
The proposed parking structure would be four levels with a mix of visitor parking, reserved parking, and possibly some commuter parking, although parking designations would likely change with the addition.
Campus architects are currently considering two locations: Site A is on the corner of Maple Street and West Campus Road where the ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) and MEP (Multicultural Engineering Program) houses are currently located and Site B is near the intersection of 19th and Illinois streets next to the Central Distribution Building (Ford).
“We want it to be compatible with campus architecture,” Cocallas stated. “It is also important that it is located close to campus resources and event venues and best serves the campus population as a whole.”
Both locations were evaluated on criteria such as pedestrian access, traffic impact, site impact, and future building expansion potential. While Site A would require more demolition at the beginning of the construction process, it would ultimately be less expensive because it could net 600 spaces with a smaller garage. Site B, which would have only one entrance off of 19th Street, would also require substantial changes to 19th Street to accommodate the increased traffic flow.
In addition to financial advantages, Site A also provides access to a greater number of campus buildings within a 0.25-mile radius.
“Probably the most important concern to the students would be MEP,” Cocallas explained of the disadvantages of Site A. The program would likely be moved to the white house on the corner of 19th and Illinois streets and the trailers currently behind the houses would be moved to another location. Other programs currently housed in the area would also be relocated.
Overall, Cocallas encourages members of the Mines community to consider that parking on campus is a complex system and adding a garage will not leave the remainder of the system intact.
“What will happen is that parking lot designations will shift around,” Cocallas explained. “People need to understand that the parking system will change with the garage.”