February 23, 2012 in Business

Gonzaga adding building for parking, retail

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Gonzaga University plans to spend $14 million to build a parking garage on campus. Later it plans to replace its aging student union building called the COG.
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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, 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 plan yet to sign retail leases because it expects to need the space for a temporary dining hall in the future.

GU’s student dining hall is currently in the COG Building in the center of campus, which 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.

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, in part 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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