Cal Poly Pomona Addresses Parking Shortage with New Structure

POMONA, Calif. — As the enrollment at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) has grown, so has its need for additional parking spaces. With a campus population of 20,000 students, faculty and staff — and growing — university administrators elected to construct a new $34 million, 1,800-space parking garage.

The university, located 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, currently offers just one 2,300-stall parking garage, which was constructed in 2008, and two surface lots with a combined capacity of 600 spaces. However, the 1,400-acre campus has changed substantially in the past eight years. New student residences have been constructed — with more in the works — and the university’s recreational facilities have become popular with weekend visitors.

Design development drawings for the new structure, which will replace the two existing surface lots, were submitted in December. Construction drawings and the civil engineering package went into plan check on January 19. Currently, the project is in the first month-long phase of construction, which includes the relocation of critical utilities, as well as the excavation of 120,000 yards of soil. Crews are aiming for an August 2016 completion.

Cal Poly Pomona officials selected Bomel Construction of Anaheim Hills, Calif., and International Parking Design, headquartered in Los Angeles to develop and construct the project, along with Steinberg Architects, which maintains offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose, Calif., as well as Shanghai.

Balancing the university’s need for increased parking with building a structure that did not dominate the landscape proved challenging for the design and construction team. Optimizing the process of loading and unloading of vehicles was another critical function that needed to be integrated. During the competitive proposal process, Bomel Construction’s senior staff hosted workshops at the company’s headquarters where the Cal Poly construction staff detailed what they needed and listened to what Bomel’s suggestions. Ultimately, Bomel’s proposal was the only firm in the field of three bidders that made sure the proposed parking structure had a sufficient number of entrances and exits.

The design-build team devised a plan for a 1,200-foot-long parking structure that will have one underground level, a level at grade and an above ground level that is accessed at grade via the University Drive entrance. The upper level covers about two-thirds of the other levels. An extensively landscaped walkway breaks the garage into two pieces, visually reducing the overall scale while creating an essential pedestrian thoroughfare for campus visitors and students. The property for International Polytechnic High School (I-Poly), a Los Angeles County-owned school with a population of a few hundred students, abuts the lot where the new parking structure will be erected. I-Poly students must have equal access to the college campus since many take courses at Cal Poly at some point during their high school years.

“One of the main reasons we liked Bomel was because they answered all of the questions in the request for proposals,” said Cal Poly Senior Project Manager Bruyn Bevans, who also serves as the coordinator and instructor in the university’s construction management program, in a statement. “Bomel was listening to what we had to say and then came back and gave us new insights about what they could do. They redid the traffic study and told us they felt they needed to do something differently, other than what was shown in the CEQA documents.”