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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Parking Ramp

Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/parking/parking_ramp.html

Proposed Lot-4 Ramp

Concept: D as of 09-06-12. Click to view.

Concept: F as of 09-06-12. Click to view.

Overview:

Eight years ago a parking consultant provided cost studies on whether MSU needed and could afford building a 400 stall parking ramp/tabletop structure. At the time of the study per space cost for construction and long term financing ranged from $9,431 ($3.8 million tabletop) to $12,233 ($4.9 million tabletop). Those prices may now top $18,000 per stall based on the exaample St. Cloud State University presents in its current ramp building project. Annual upkeep of such a structure is an expense that also has to be budgeted. See May 2000 Parking Study.

Now that St.Cloud State University is building a 500 stall, $9 million parking "structure," some believe it is time for Minnesota State Mankato to follow suit. The two universities are very different in where parking spaces are located and how the campus buildings are placed. St. Cloud used part of its institutional reserve to pay for about half of the $9 million in projected costs, whereas MSU has avoided accumulating large institutional reserves beyond what is recommended by its governing group, the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities (MnSCU). At roughly $18,000 per stall one can see that building a parking stall is much more expensive than creating surface parking spaces at $2,500 per stall (curb and gutter, hard surface, lighting). MSU has some land options not available to St. Cloud State and MSU's bus and shuttle service to and from the more distant parking lots is extensive.

MSU's parking program receives no support from either state tax dollars, student activity fees, etc.; financially, it stands on its own. To finance the bonds to build a 400 stall structure MSU would have to commit all revenues from the ramp which would include permit income as well as cash receipts related to hourly parking. Should ramp income fail to pay for annual debt service and operating costs, funds would be tapped from existing parking program revenues (permit sales, fine collections, paylot fees, etc.)

There seems to be much support for ramp construction until people are confronted with the realization that the ramp would in all liklihood not be a self-sustaining entity and would need support from the rest of the Parking Program to ensure against a default on bond and related interest charges. It is a hard sell indeed to explain to a Gold, Orange, Purple, or residence hall Green permit holder why their investment in parking may have to be diverted to cover any cost associated with a ramp.

During 2007-08 the congestion in the inner core of the campus has been reduced thanks to the work of the Parking Advisory Committee and others. Using marketing techniques a significant number of cash customers who regularly used the visitors paylot (Lot 4) have chosen this past year to buy parking permits. One reason is that the PAC raised the first hour charge to $3 and the charge thereafter to $2 per hour. A year earlier a student or employee could park for two hours in the centrally located "sunken" visitors paylot for $3, now they would pay $5. Departments inviting guests to the University saw no increase in the the cost of the paylot passes they bought for their visitors ($5 full day pass; $2.50 half day pass), so it is believed that this year the paylot is actually being used more by visitors and guests instead of being full of students and employees.

Visitor Paylot vacancies now exist in the core of campus at peak periods of the class day, an unheard of stiuation just 12 months earlier. All of this may well change, however, as new buildings come online and affect the existing traffic patterns in the core of the campus. The new Sears residence hall west of the Student Union will open this fall with its 608 beds and no additional parking. A College of Business building is planned across the street from the Student Union which will attract a whole new group of customers who will want to park close-in. A multi-level ramp is being discussed which would affect and may well replace the existing 200 stall visitors paylot (Lot 4) and nearby 60 Gold permit stalls in Lot 4a. A parking structure in the core of the campus will be expensive.

For purposes of this survey two sites for a prospective ramp are offered. Even in the best of circumstances, only one could be financed, however, should a tabletop parking structure ever be approved.

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Price Range to park in the ramp: A monthly charge of $90 to $100.

Though the price seems high compared to what people are paying now for close in Gold permit parking, for comparison purposes cell phone monthly bills range from $30 to $40 as do some private internet services. The question remains, how important is it to you to have the convenience of ramp parking?

Ramp on top of Lot 4/4a Sunken Lot

Across from Student Union, and Wigley Administration Center. Would be a 400 stall ramp but will yield a net gain of 200 spaces to campus overall capacity as it replaces existing surface stalls.

Features:

  • Tabletop construction.
  • Uncovered top level for only cash customers with coins, tokens or MavCard cash stripe. Lower levels accessed with electronic card tied to monthly payment plan. You only pay for the months for which you have provided an advanced payment.
  • Skyway to Student Union so people can avoid weather conditions. Once an individual is in the Union most MSU buildings can be accessed without going outside. (Skyway concept would impact the look of the new south entrance of the new Student Union which is undergoing an $11 million dollar modeling.)
  • Conveniently located in the campus core.
  • Shelter from rain, snow, and ice.
  • Security cameras and good lighting throughout structure.
  • Aesthetically pleasing brick-like facade designed as a good "fit" with both the Student Union and Wigley.
  • Existing 181 paylot (lot 4) stalls and lot 4A Gold Permit stalls would be out of commission for the year it would take to build the table top ramp.

Ramp on top of Lot 16 (Performing Arts Lot)

Across from McElroy Center residence hall and serves both the Andreas Theater, music theatrical main stage performances, and classes in the Performing Arts Center. Would be a 400 stall ramp but will yield a net gain of 300 stalls to campus overall capacity as it replaces existing surface stalls with access lanes and ramps.

  • Tabletop construction.
  • Uncovered top level for only cash customers with coins, tokens, or MavCard cash stripe. Lower levels accessed with electronic card tied to monthly payment plan. You only pay for the months for which you have provided an advanced payment.
  • Multiple users in mind. Students, MSU employees, spectators attending Theater and or Music events, and nearby residence hall students. Wissink, Nelson, and Trafton East are nearby buildings.
  • Shelter from rain, snow, and ice.
  • Security cameras and good lighting throughout structure.
  • Aesthetically pleasing brick-like facade designed as a good "fit" with both the Andreas Theater and the Performing Arts Center.
  • A special entrance/exit off of Ellis Avenue to facilitate residence hall users.
  • Lot 16 and its 638 stalls would be out of commision for the duration of the ramp construction.

Please indicate your preferences: (Chose only one)*


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Please understand that this survey has been restricted to just a few options as it is intended to get a sense of what may be possible "price-wise".