By James Kelley
STEVEN CARRILLO/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
Construction worker Adan Monteros jackhammers through the street, while Roy Aldaca looks on. Construction continues for the new parking garage being built on Sixth Street.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday Apr. 19, 2002
While construction of the first part of the Sixth Street Garage is behind schedule, officials still expect it to be done by the start of the fall semester.
When completely finished, the garage, which is part of the Highland District Project, will provide 1,600 parking spaces, offices for Parking and Transportation Services with greenhouses on top.
Projected completion of the first phase - the opening of 750 spaces in August - is three weeks behind schedule, but PTS officials expect it will open by the start of school in the fall, said Gary Thomson, associate director of PTS.
"The projected completion date is August 1, and we have a three-week buffer planned in, so if it is three weeks late, it should still be available by the start of the semester," Thomson said.
The first day of fall classes is Aug. 26.
Along with the buffer, Thomson expects the project to catch up when the 24-hour work begins, probably within the next few weeks.
The need for 24-hour work is not the result of the delay, which was due to minor things like drainage issues, but was scheduled before the delay occurred.
"As the weather gets hotter, the concrete pouring needs to be done in cooler hours, and it is better for scheduling trucks," said Melissa Dryden, public information coordinator for Facilities Design and Construction. "It had been intended from the start to be a 24/6 project," she said.
Once the 24-hour work begins, the neighborhood will be notified about it, Thomson said.
Compared to the Tyndall Avenue Garage, which opened in August 2000, there has been higher demand for permits in the Sixth Street Garage. Thomson said this is likely due to the fact the garage is closer located to academic buildings.
If the first half of the garage does not open by the start of the fall semester, those who purchased permits will be issued temporary permits for lot-specific lots spread around campus or for the underused lots south of Sixth Street, Thomson said.
"I think the permit buyers should be given some sort of compensation so it doesn't mess up the parking situation in the other lots," said Alison Campbell, a chemical engineering senior. "If there is a delay, buyers should get some money back if they are not parking in an area of equal value. Either they should be paid some money or given some sort of credit."
Once the entire project is finished, which is planned for next February, the garage is expected to provide the necessary parking for the whole Highland redevelopment area.
"With all the new facilities in the area, the garage is vital to adding parking spaces to replace ones lost to the projects and will provide Parking and Transportation Services with more space and that will provide space for other departments," Dryden said. "It is a better use of space."