New parking ramps expected by 2022
By Robin Morales
Following last year’s April 15 approval of an approximate $51 million construction grant by the LCC Board of Trustees, two new parking structures will be built on LCC’s main campus.
According to LCC President Dr. Brent Knight, the first ramp will be situated where student parking Lot 23 sits presently; on the southwest corner of Capitol Avenue and Shiawassee Street, across from the University Center.
“We’ll hopefully start construction on it (in) June or something like that,” Knight said. “It’ll take more than a year to finish.”
Student Lot 23 currently has 210 parking spaces, according to LCC records. The new ramp that will be built will have 827 spaces upon completion. There will be a ground level and four additional floors to the ramp.
Knight said construction work on the second ramp, which will replace the current Gannon parking structure, is scheduled to begin shortly after completion of the first ramp. Presently, there are 979 parking spaces. The new Gannon ramp will have 69 additional parking spaces.
“Things are pretty much on schedule,” Knight said. “We’ll have both ramps done in the fall of 2022.
“There’ll be a year when parking will be a greater issue, when we demolish the Gannon ramp. At that moment in time, for that year, we’ll have to improvise in terms of parking.”
The current Gannon Ramp, finished in 1976, has continued to operate 14 years after its expected lifespan, according to an LCC press release.
“Over time the steel (in the columns) will corrode, rust, and then you have expansion, and then the concrete will start to deteriorate,” Knight said.
“Engineers inspect them (on an) ongoing basis and anytime there’s any issue, we repair it. The college spends at least several hundred thousand (dollars) a year to maintain the ramp. … With a new ramp, you don’t have that ongoing expense anymore.”
Knight said the new ramps will likely last around 50 years. He also spoke about the financial implications of the two new ramps.
“We’ll be paying for more than 40 years,” through small increments in yearly budgets, he said. He added that debt payments will not be supplemented through raising student tuition.
“We like students to be able to come to the college every day and not worry about how they’re going to pay for parking,” Knight said. “Then once students are here, we like them to stay and utilize all the services of the college and our spaces.”