March 1, 2006

C.U. to Make New Parking Lot Level

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Plans to add another level to the Hoy Road Garage were announced yesterday. The Planning and Development Board of Ithaca started its examination of the project last night in the Common Council Chambers of City Hall.

Structural engineer Gary Kochinsky of Planning, Design and Construction represented Cornell at the hearing by sharing computer simulations of how the garage would look as well as providing evidence of the need for this new level. The new spots would be open to people holding parking permits, he explained.

The nine-foot, seven-inch tall new level would add 192 new parking spaces, pushing the Hoy Road Garage to a capacity of 854 vehicles. Hoy Road Garage is centrally located on campus, near Lynah Rink and the Statler Hotel. The current structure of the garage would not need to be altered since the construction would simply add steel frames and steel beams and not tear any down.

“The entire project will begin fully in June after Alumni Week and, depending on the weather, would be done September 30,” Kochinsky explained in front of the seven-member panel. “$3 million will be allocated to the construction of the new level.”

Kochinsky presented pictures showing that the area around the garage will not change even with the addition of the new level. The garage is adjacent to Schoellkopf Field, but the board made sure that the new level would not affect the seating box for sports coverage.

The addition of 192 spaces, though, did not assuage the board’s impression that the Cornell campus is losing too much parking. They pointed to the impending construction of both Milstein Hall and Bailey Hall Plaza, which will remove parking spaces.

“We want a better account of the overall parking situation on campus,” a member of board announced.

Kochinsky promised that with the construction of this parking lot and others the net number on campus would in fact be higher. He also promised that the oncoming constructions would not cause a problem for on-campus traffic, as he cited a SRF Consulting Firm report.

This issue was not settled last night, as Kochinsky and other representatives from Cornell will need to present more information to the Planning and Development Board next month. Other Cornell construction projects the board will be looking at in the upcoming months include the construction of Milstein Hall and Bailey Hall Plaza.

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