Penn State is in the early planning stages of expanding its West Campus. But before any buildings can go up, there needs to be a parking deck.
Steven Watson, Penn State's director of campus planning and design, told the Ferguson Township supervisors on Monday that the university recently wrapped a feasibility study looking at potential parking on the west end of campus to facilitate future implementation of the Penn State Capital Plan.
The study is part of a long-range planning initiative tied to redevelopment of West Campus, he said, which is zoned in State College borough's University Planned District for future academic expansion.
A potential location for an approximately 1,676-space, six-tier parking deck would be on the existing Red A surface lot near the Earth and Engineering Science Building, Watson said. A secondary site being considered is closer to the West Campus fields.
But a parking deck would have to go up before any academic buildings, Watson said, because the only space to build on West Campus is constrained to surface lots. That's why the surface lots will need to be consolidated into a parking deck.
Something else that Penn State has looked into to accommodate a parking deck is to extend White Course Drive and possibly connect it to West College Avenue, he said.
That way, the deck could be accessed two different ways, Watson said.
He said they're working toward the selection of a design/build team in July so that team can interface with the College of Engineering team because final siting of the deck will be influenced by the College of Engineering Master Plan.
The parking deck has a relatively near-term timeline, Watson said, with starting design within six to nine months and then construction another year after that.