February 22, 2012

Gonzaga to build parking structure, replace COG

By The Spokesman-Review
ALSC Architects photo

Rendering of the new Gonzaga University parking and retail center to be built on the block bounded by Hamilton and Cincinnati streets and DeSmet and Boone avenues.
(Full-size photo)

Gonzaga University will break ground this spring on a $14 million, four-level building that will add about 650 parking spaces and ground-level dining options for students and area residents.

The new building, which will replace a surface parking lot, will be bordered by Hamilton and Cincinnati streets and DeSmet and Boone avenues. When finished in January 2013, the 250,000-square-foot Gonzaga Retail and Parking Center will be the new home for GU’s campus bookstore and eventually several retail businesses.

The school has no plans yet to sign leases for retail space because it needs to use some of the ground level as a temporary student dining area at some point.

GU’s student dining hall is currently in the COG Building in the center of campus. That building will eventually be demolished to make way for a larger University Center.

The proposed University Center will become the location for a larger student dining hall, along with meeting and event areas.

No dates have been set for starting the University Center project, said Chuck Murphy, vice president of finance. Design and construction for the building will take about three years. Murphy said preliminary plans for the center call for roughly 150,000 square feet. The existing COG is roughly 34,000 square feet.

GU trustees have said they won’t move forward with the University Center project until they’ve raised enough money for it, Murphy said.

“We do not have a cost estimate yet” for the University Center, he added.

Once the University Center is in use, the ground level of the new parking structure will be leased to retail businesses, he said. No tenants have yet been identified, he said.

The money to build the retail and parking facility comes from private donations, with fees and lease payments expected to maintain it, according to GU.

In addition to a new bookstore, the ground level of the parking building will be initially used for academic conferences and meetings, special events and general uses, Murphy said.

Adding more campus parking has been an ongoing focus of campus officials. It’s part of a campus plan to create more parking on campus to alleviate concerns among Logan neighborhood residents who have had to deal with GU parking sprawl.

The retail and parking building is the first major construction project on campus since completion of Coughlin Residence Hall in August 2009.

Spokane-based ALSC Architects designed the new facility. Vandervert Construction will be the general contractor.

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