The newly constructed Markle Parking Deck has officially opened for use after nine months. With more available parking spaces and a direct connection to the Markle Office of Admissions, the new deck enhances student and visitor experiences.
Built in 1982, the original Markle deck required substantial renovation despite the college’s efforts to maintain it. Last March, the college opted to replace the existing structure. The project involved the replacement of the original deck as well as the addition of another level, providing nearly 230 additional parking spaces for a total of 560.
Priced around $15 million, the construction of the parking deck was one of the college’s more expensive projects.
“Architectural and engineering fees, contractor labor, materials and equipment comprised much of the cost,” Associate Vice President of Finance & Administration Craig Becker said. “The project included cost for landscaping, restoration of the Alumni Memorial Plaza, temporary parking lot, signage, fencing, security and the like. The project was completed on schedule and on budget.”
According to Becker, the new Markle Parking Deck was debt-financed. This means that the project was funded by borrowing money from investors to be paid back with interest at the end of an agreed period.
The new deck was designed with additional electrical capacity to support outlets for events and electric vehicle charging stations. This may require additional maintenance over time. There is also a water service available for washing the deck periodically to remove deicing agents, which can be destructive to concrete over time.
“The maintenance requirements for the new deck are going to be very similar to the maintenance required for the old deck,” Becker said. “The new deck, however, is substantially larger than the old deck so there is more surface area to maintain.”
“The new deck is designed to be fifty percent stronger than the designed capacity of the old deck so public assembly can safely take place for football games and other events,” Becker continued.
Another important and distinct feature of the new deck is the elevator that services all three levels, making it more accessible for disabled and elderly individuals. The previous deck only had stair towers. The rebuilt deck will also allow easier access to the new welcome center located on the main floor of Markle Hall. Previously, visitors had to walk around the front of the building or enter through the ground floor for access.
Capital Projects Manager Meghan Madeira emphasized the importance of accessibility on campus.
“We are committed to having an accessible campus for students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the community,” Madeira said. “Accessibility is a key requirement for all new construction and major renovations. We are excited about the new parking deck and the additional access it will provide to the Welcome Center on the main floor of Markle Hall.”