BOONE — With students and their families already lugging bags and boxes onto Appalachian State’s campus for the fall semester, the university’s new four-story, 477-space parking deck opened on Aug. 14 — not a second too soon.

The new parking facility is located at the site of the former Winkler Residence Hall, with access at the lower level from the stadium parking lot and at the top via an access behind Bowie and Eggers residence halls. Project leaders worked to complete the parking deck in time for the start of the fall semester and the first home football game on Aug. 31, as construction of new residence halls has displaced a number of parking spaces in the stadium area.

“The opening of this facility is another tremendous milestone as we build infrastructure that supports and elevates Appalachian’s educational mission,” Appalachian Chancellor Sheri Everts said at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new parking deck, held Aug. 14 at the deck’s lower entrance.

The parking deck and four new residence halls are part of a $191 million public-private (P3) development package that will provide 2,100 to 2,200 student beds to replace Bowie, Coltrane, Eggers, Gardner, Winkler, Justice and East residence halls. All but East Hall are located on the west side of campus.

RISE: A Real Estate Co. is the developer for the public-private project.

“As the first phase of the 2,200-bed west campus housing transformation, the on-time delivery of this highly efficient parking structure serves as a key component in allowing for the multiphase build-out to be completed by fall 2022,” said Jeremy Doss, senior vice president for RISE, at the ribbon cutting.

He added, “The RISE team is truly honored to be Appalachian’s partner on the world-class project, and I cannot say enough about the collective teamwork that culminated in bringing this facility online in record time.”

When the entire project is completed, in 2022, there will be 927 parking spaces in the stadium area — 477 in the parking deck, 180 behind the Mark E. Ricks Athletics Complex at Kidd Brewer Stadium and 270 adjacent to the residence halls under construction, according to the university.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Services John Eckman thanked RISE and Choate Construction, as well as university representatives.

“More available parking spaces on campus also help better distribute the overall parking needs throughout Appalachian and the town of Boone,” he said. “The deck is equipped with 10 emergency call stations, 52 cameras, LED lighting, emergency standby power for the interior and exterior lighting and two elevators. By this weekend, it also will have Wi-Fi.”

The next completion date for the multi-phase project is scheduled for fall 2020, when two of the four residential buildings, 100 and 200, are planned to be finished.

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