Beginning this month, Duke community members and visitors should allow for extra time to park in Parking Garage II at the corner of Fulton Street and Erwin Road due to a renovation project.
Crews will arrive on-site to prepare for work July 15 and construction will begin July 22 to upgrade the garage, which provides nearly 2,700 parking spots for employees and visitors. The $9 million project will block off up to 350 spots at a time during work, although motorists won't be impacted aside from potentially needing extra time to find a place to park.
"This is the beginning of some longstanding improvements we need to make in our garage and surface lots," said Sam Veraldi, director of Parking and Transportation Services. "We've prioritized our renovation needs over the coming years and Parking Garage II was an ideal place to start. We're happy to be at a point where we can address needs for these improvements that we feel are required for our facilities."
No motorists will be displaced from parking during the course of the project. To accommodate work, some employees have been provided with parking in nearby lots to free up a corresponding number of parking spaces in Parking Garage II to the number that will be renovated and blocked off on any given day. Initial work will take place on the northern portion of the top level and level seven of the garage.
Renovations will occur between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday with occasional work on weekends determined on an as-needed basis. Work is expected to last until November 2014. Signs, fences and hard barriers will be installed to block parking areas as construction proceeds.
"Construction may occur on several levels at any time, so we just ask parkers to be aware and pay attention to signage and crews directing traffic," said Melissa Harden, assistant director of strategies for Parking and Transportation Services.
Along with sealing cracks in the garage's concrete and adding guardrails, crews will replace light fixtures with new, energy efficient bulbs and add coats of reflective paint, allowing for the space to be filled with a greater amount of light. Duke's Facilities Management Department will also add a generator to provide power in case of emergencies and a new security camera system to provide additional safety.
The renovations are part of a continued effort by Duke to invest in infrastructure, technology and other services for parking on campus. That includes a new entry system that will be installed at Parking Garage II during the renovation project. The new system, called "PARCS," uses hands-free entry and exit with a radio frequency identification tag, a magnetic parking permit attached to a vehicle like the NC Quick Pass. The system also features intercoms at entry points to call for assistance and automated signs with vacant space counts.
Duke plans to eventually roll out the PARCS system across other garages and lots over the next two years. Harden said it will allow Duke to better capture real-time parking data, including number of vacant spots, how long motorists park before leaving and some demographic information, like if a permit is owned by a student or employee.
"It will allow us to manage our parking resources in a much more efficient manner, including how and when people need to park on campus," Harden said. "For the Duke community, it also means they'll have faster entries into lots."