BOONE — Appalachian State officials this week confirmed that the new stadium-area parking deck will be completed on time, with a ribbon cutting scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 14.
The 477-space parking deck, located at the site of the former Winkler Residence Hall and extending into a portion of the Stadium Lot parking area, will eventually result in 250 more parking spaces on the west side of campus, according to the university. Project leaders worked to complete the parking deck in time for the start of the fall semester and the first home football game, as construction of new residence halls has displaced a number of parking spaces in the stadium area.
“All of our new first-year students who live on campus will be moving in on the 16th, and we want to have that parking deck ready for them,” said Matt Dull, assistant vice chancellor for finance and operations in Appalachian State’s Office of Student Affairs, in an interview with University Communications on Aug. 5. “It’s just exciting to have one of the parts of the project almost checked off.”
The parking deck and four new residence halls are part of a $191 million public-private (P3) development package between Appalachian State, private developer RISE and nonprofit asset manager Beyond Owners Group. The project 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.
Two residence halls, buildings 100 and 200, are currently under construction in the Stadium Lot area as part of phase one of the P3 project, with completion still on schedule for fall 2020, according to Appalachian State.
In Building 200, along Jack Branch Road and closest to Kidd Brewer Stadium, wood framing is taking place, with Dull estimating that the framing on that building could be completed by the end of September. On Building 100 at the corner of Jack Branch Road and Stadium Drive, foundation work continues while steel and wood framing is beginning.
“It is getting to that place where it’s, especially with the framing, it’s going to start changing every week,” Dull said.
The replacement of steam line across Stadium Drive is nearly complete, he added.
“That way, we can be back to a two-lane Stadium Drive before we start the fall semester, which is really important, when we bring all these students back,” he said.
“We’re really trying to prepare campus and prepare for this arrival of almost 6,000 students ... a lot of those students do live on west campus, and we’re trying to get things prepared for them, cleaned up, and have a plan in place to be able to navigate this year,” Dull said. “We don’t have that gigantic Stadium Lot, but we do have that Stadium parking deck that people can park in. So we’re having to do things a little bit differently this year than we’ve done in the past.”
Planning continues for the next phase of the project, with plans to break ground on Building 300 (between the new parking deck and Newland Hall) in February 2020.
“So we’ll have three residence halls being constructed at the same time this spring,” Dull said.