Expanded Parking Garage to Open April 20

Mar. 16, 2017

Webster University’s Expanded Parking Garage to Open April 20
A rendering of the expanded parking garage

ST. LOUIS - On April 20, there will be a significant addition to Webster University’s home campus. The parking garage will more than double in capacity when the 852 new parking space addition is officially opened.

Representatives from the University, the City of Webster Groves, Nerinx Hall High School, Tarlton Construction and KWK Architects will be on hand to cut a ceremonial ribbon at 11 a.m., opening up the new space. Moments later, one lucky student will be selected to be the first to park their car in this expansion. The event is free and open to the entire community.

“This is yet another step toward providing the new facilities needed to meet the need of the Webster campus community,” said Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble. “The garage expansion is one of several larger pieces of a strategic puzzle that will further Webster University’s campus master plan in ways that increase our capacity to educate students and connect with our community.”

It’s estimated that with the new garage expansion, the University’s available parking will exceed its requirements. Overall, the campus will have 2,184 spaces on campus, with 1,457 of those spaces in the parking garage.

Garage Expansion Plan

The physical work on the garage expansion started in June, 2016, but planning started several years earlier. This expansion was initially foreseen when the original garage was built more than fifteen years ago. It was designed to make it easy to remove walls and quickly snap new concrete slabs into place for an expansion.

When Webster University unveiled plans for Browning Hall, Interdisciplinary Science Building it also included this garage expansion, which was needed to meet the parking requirements of Webster Groves. The City Council also added a second requirement to the garage; Webster University had to add a left-turn lane in front of Emerson Library before the City would issue any building permits. Through a cooperative agreement, the city built the lane but the University funded the project. It opened in August, 2015.

The University also built a new substation so that the power consumption of Browning Hall would not overload the power grid serving the surrounding neighborhoods. That substation was built through a cooperative agreement with Ameren and went online last spring.

The final task to start the construction was to work with Nerinx High School. That school owned a small parking lot that was wedged between the existing garage and the new garage site. Working with the high school, Webster University was granted ownership of that small lot in exchange to granting Nerinx 107 spaces in the new garage. The Nerinx spots will be in a separate area from where Webster University students, faculty or staff will park.

“This garage is a great example of what can be done through cooperation,” said Julian Schuster, the provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Webster University. “The University, Nerinx, Ameren, the City of Webster Groves, and Tarlton all worked together to find a way to make this garage work, and we were tremendously successful.”

After the garage opens, some work will still need to be completed. Landscaping crews will work on planting sod and trees. Also, the new lights in the expanded portion of the garage use newer technology than the lights in the existing garage, and are much brighter. The light fixtures in the existing garage will be replaced this summer with newer fixtures to provide more even illumination throughout the entire structure. 

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