Three-story parking garage set to open in fall


TJ Rigg

Wichita State will build a parking garage on this lot, located south of the Rhatigan Student Center. The parking garage is set to be completed in July 2017 and will feature about 450 spots for students, faculty and visitors.

Students expecting to park, run into the RSC and buy a last-minute textbook — while avoiding a parking ticket — might have to add a few hundred yards to their sprint this spring.

Over the winter break, the university closed the 215-space parking lot south of the RSC and began development on a three-story parking garage.

The garage will be situated at the southwestern side of the RSC, and will open August 2017, before the start of the fall semester. The project was contracted to Dondlinger Construction by the university.

The plans are to supplement university parking with an additional 440 spots. The garage will have three levels and a roof deck. The lot south of the RSC, which is currently closed, is planned to be re-opened with 100 spots returning at the same time as the parking garage. The parking lot will still require a yellow parking pass.

The construction cost of the parking garage is estimated to be $7.4 million dollars, although Patterson said this does not include architectural fees, surveying fees and permit costs.

Parking services will use their existing license plate readers to enforce payment for use of the garage.

“There will not be gates, and the license plate recognition system will be used to monitor payment,” Emily Patterson, director of facilities planning, said. “We’ll also be trying to set up an app to integrate the pay system.”

The parking garage is intended to be available to anyone and will not require a parking pass. However, those who already have parking passes will still have to pay to park there on top of purchasing parking passes.

The project is being funded by the university-parking fund, Patterson said.

“It’s a bonded project and the parking fund will be used to pay the bonds back.”

The parking fund is replenished primarily through charging students for parking passes and revenue generated from issuing tickets.

“The garage will be clad in metal paneling, similar to the silver paneling around campus,” Patterson said. “It won’t just look like a concrete parking garage. It’s designed to fit in with the Rhatigan Center.”

“It will also be situated to the west as not to obscure the view of the RSC from drivers on the perimeter road.”

She also stated plans are in the works to open more parking garages on the innovation campus as demand increases.