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Archive for Thursday, January 12, 1995

NEW GARAGES MAY SOLVE KU PARKING NIGHTMARE

January 12, 1995

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KU officials are behind the wheel of a $14.8 million plan to improve parking options on campus.

Thousands of Kansas University students and faculty march off to the parking services office each year to buy a hunting license.

Of course, license holders don't hunt with weapons. They use vehicles. The target is a parking space.

"I have a hunting license," said Allen Wiechert, university architect in charge of high-profile building projects.

Nothing that Wiechert works on this year will create as much excitement among hunters as planning for two new parking garages on campus.

The most prominent will be a 950-space garage north of the Kansas Union. It would be within easy walking distance of Adams Alumni Center and the Dyche and Spooner museums. Motorists could enter the garage from Oread Avenue or 60 feet below from Mississippi Street.

Price tag: $10 million.

If the 1995 Legislature agrees to issue revenue bonds for construction, the first cars and trucks will enter the new garage in late 1997.

"It will help satisfy a demand that we've know about for quite some time," Wiechert said.

He said a second garage would be built to replace two existing structures used by residents of Jayhawker Towers. The $4.8 million project includes a 415-space garage and a 70-space surface lot at the site.

Structural Engineering Associates of Kansas City, Mo., concluded it would be wasteful to attempt to salvage the two 27-year-old garages.

"Those are structurally unsound," Wiechert said.

The decision to build new parking garages was made in conjunction with Barton-Aschman Associates, a consulting firm in Evanston, Ill.

Wiechert said the consultants suggested two other possible locations for parking garages at KU.

One could be built on the southeast corner of campus near the Computer Services building on Sunnyside Avenue. Another could be at the northwest corner next to Carruth-O'Leary Hall on West Campus Road.

Revenue to pay the bond debt would come from parking fees, Wiechert said.

KU's parking board is considering faculty, staff and student permit increases ranging from $11 to $30. Permits now cost from $53 to $70. Under a tentative plan, fees for football and basketball games would rise along with the charge for visitor parking.

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