‘Great company’ completes first Cal Poly Pomona project ahead of schedule
October 5, 2016––Bruyn Bevans is a busy man these days. The Cal Poly Pomona senior project manager is overseeing construction of a $78-million, 138,000-square-foot student services complex being built on the former site of a 900-space parking lot, right in the middle of the active campus.
Despite his hectic schedule, Bevans recently took some time to discuss the August completion of the 78-year-old university’s second parking structure, a 12-month-long, design-build facility masterfully created by Bomel Construction, International Parking Design and a savvy team of consultants and subcontractors. Bomel’s fast-growing Architectural and Site Concrete Division was a major contributor to the project.
Bevans’ comments were packed with powerful praise. “We chose Bomel because they listened to us,” he said Sept. 22 inside his job-site trailer. “It’s that simple. That’s what makes Bomel a great company, because they listen to their clients. They truly listen, and that’s important.”
The art of active listening was critical if Cal Poly Pomona was to develop a 1,800-stall parking structure that would best serve an expanding southern section of the 1,400-acre campus and a burgeoning student body while being environmentally sensitive.
The three-level garage is positioned close to the intersection of heavily traveled Temple Avenue and University Drive, a hilly thoroughfare exclusively serving the campus. The parking structure borders I-Poly High School, Cal Poly Pomona tennis courts and soccer fields and the university’s latest crown jewel, the 165,000-square-foot Bronco Recreation and Intramural Center, commonly called the BRIC, which opened in 2014.
One of the many reasons why Bomel and IPD won the contract was the ability to rapidly design and build a parking structure that has six gateways: an at-grade entrance from Temple Avenue to the south, one at grade from an existing campus parking lot to the east, one above grade from University Drive to the west and three below grade from Collins Avenue, a narrow university street behind I-Poly and parallel to Temple.
The half-dozen entrances and exits are essential due to the structure’s proximity to Temple, University, Collins and I-Poly. Another important reason is the need for quick entry and exit for thousands of students rushing to and from classes during peak morning and afternoon periods. Thirdly, a large number of visitors will frequent the BRIC and various outdoor sporting and public events, often arriving or departing at the same time.
Bevans said the other bidding teams devised a plan based on what they thought worked best for the college, but the Bomel-IPD team listened to what Cal Poly Pomona representatives wanted, held pre-construction workshops and leveraged decades of design-build parking structure experience to fulfill the needs of the fast-growing university.
“We told them what our requirements were, how we wanted the structure to function and also how we did not want it to function,” Bevans said on the first day of the fall 2016 semester. “They gave us what we asked them to do.”
The main construction challenges for the $34-million garage, which was built on a surface lot with 600 stalls, were considerable: Starting construction after the end of the 2014-15 school year and ending it before the start of the fall 2016 semester; relocating 2,000 feet of storm drains that were below the new garage’s footprint; excavating about 120,000 yards of soil to a depth of 11 feet; erecting a poured-in-place parking structure on a naturally sloping site and adding multiple turn lanes on an active Temple Avenue and a narrow University Drive without shoulders.
Leading the Bomel team was Project Executive Kasey Shay, who said the project was a “great job” with outstanding job-site crews.
“Tim Perdew is a top-notch guy. From the beginning to the very end, he did whatever it took to accommodate the university,” Shay said about the Bomel project superintendent. During the addition of the turning-lanes, Perdew “logged more than 40,000 steps on his counter, keeping up with moving the traffic cones,” Shay added.
Perdew also made a lasting impression on Bevans.
“Tim is very good at projecting where he wants to go and that’s how you get the job done on time,” Bevans recalled. “He was mentoring a few really good guys on the job site.”
Bevans thought Bomel workers were exceptional for other reasons as well.
“They were very agreeable, very cordial,” he said. “When I walk on the job site during the middle of construction, normally workers would ignore you, especially if you were the owner. But with the Bomel crew, if I would stop and start a conversation with them, they would respond at all times. It was good to see that.”
Some of the tan-colored garage’s features include two elevator cores, 14 metal mesh screens designed to depict the San Gabriel Mountain range on the north horizon and multiple signs informing drivers of the remaining available spaces on each level. Additionally, the parking structure has Wi-Fi, 77 security cameras, 24 electrical vehicle charging station, two rows of EV-only parking stalls nearest to the entrances and exits, and solar-energy panels shading dozens of vehicles on the upper level. A pedestrian plaza and bridge landscaped with drought-tolerant vegetation intersects the garage at grade level, between the structure and the expansive surface lot to the east.
In addition to Bomel Construction and IPD, the design-build team included Steinberg Architects, Air-Tec Mechanical, Apollo Electric, structural engineering firm Culp & Tanner, Civil Works Engineers, Don Brandel Plumbing, Integrity Fire and Lynn Capouya Landscape Architects.
Shay said Bevans set a high bar and the entire Bomel team took a lot of pride in the project.
“We all knew the right thing to do, and we did it,” Shay recounted about a month after the garage was completed. “We really helped each other and that’s what made it fun. And the result is that we have a really nice parking structure.”
About Bomel Construction Co.: Established in 1970, Anaheim Hills, Calif.-based Bomel Construction is widely regarded as the dean of parking structure construction in the West. The family-owned business generated $135 million in total revenue in 2014. Its other current high-profile projects include Del Amo Fashion Center (1,950 stalls), Cal Poly Pomona (1,800) and Plaza San Clemente (1,167), with several additional parking structures set to begin construction this year. Bomel Construction, a design-build concrete contractor, has completed major parking structures for developers and owners of many of the largest shopping malls, casinos, stadiums, high-rise office buildings, colleges and universities throughout the West. Bomel has regional offices in Carlsbad, Calif., and Las Vegas.
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