LOMA LINDA, Calif., Feb. 14, 2014
The $20.3-million garage, with nearly 1,200 stalls, is a key component of the Southern California school’s $800-million capital improvement plan.
What happens when construction of a seven-level, 460,000-square-foot parking structure on a busy university campus takes place just seven feet away from another parking garage?
It gets built safely, ahead of schedule and within budget.
That’s exactly the outcome of the latest project completed by Anaheim Hills-based Bomel Construction Co., one of the largest concrete contractors in California and widely considered the dean of parking structure construction in the West. Wrapped up in 13 months, and 30 days ahead of schedule, the $20.3- million garage is the first major project to be finished in Loma Linda University’s 10-year, $800-million capital improvement plan, a program that will include two high-rise patient towers.
It’s also the first parking structure to be built by Bomel Construction on the Loma Linda campus, located near the city of San Bernardino. The competition to build the new seven-level garage was tough, with Bomel beating out six contractors to earn the design-build contract.
The new facility, a necessary addition to accommodate a significant increase in staff, students and visitors at the growing campus, had its share of challenges during the construction phase, but university officials are pleased with the outcome.
“Bomel exceeded our expectations. It was a very good experience,” said Robert Cole, the university’s project manager for this parking structure and another one that will be part of the current expansion program.
With 1,171 stalls, the recently completed garage is called the West Hall Parking Structure. It’s the largest and third such facility on campus; two others in close proximity, built in the 1980s and 1990s, have a total of about 1,130 stalls.
While this winter’s weather has been ideal for the construction industry in Southern California, that wasn’t the case when Bomel began foundation work on the West Hall Parking Structure.
“It’s hard to believe when it’s been sunny and 80 degrees a lot this winter, but last year when we started construction it was raining and it made things difficult and messy,” said Kasey Shay, Bomel’s project manager. “We were dealing with tricky foundation issues, especially since we were working in close proximity, about seven feet, to an existing parking structure.” The two structures share a 290-foot long border.
Shay said crews had to slot patch next to the existing structure to prevent surging or undermining of that structure while foundation work was taking place for the new structure. “And it was a challenge getting the utilities in place since there was a private house very close to the construction site,” he added.
Both Cole and Shay believe a helix ramp is the most interesting part of the parking structure.
Unlike most garages, where cars move from floor to floor within the structure itself, a helix, or spiral, ramp on the outside edge of the garage allows drivers to advance to each floor without actually driving on each floor, a process that has a number of advantages.
“We have three main shift changes every day, so people are able to get in and out of the garage in a timely fashion,” Cole said. “And most people are creatures of habit; they like to park on the same floor. The helix ramp allows them to go directly to their desired floor without having to trudge through each level. They get to their parking stall faster and in an environmentally-sensitive way since less fuel is burned when vehicles arrive at their destination in less time.”
The new garage is located between Prospect Street and the West Hall building, directly across from the university’s medical center. About 90% of the garage’s users are Loma Linda University employees. There is a small area for Emergency Room parking on the first level. Instead of a controlled gate, the garage has a license plate reader for employees. Guests pay at a walk-up window.
International Parking Design of Sherman Oaks, Calif., was the architect for the design-build project.
In addition to ground-up construction of the new parking garage and re-routing all utility and storm drains, Bomel managed the demolition of five university-owned homes that were used for various school purposes. Bomel also removed one road and created another 600-foot-long road that serves as the entrance to the parking structure. The final phase of the project has Bomel building a 300-foot-long by 12-foot-wide elevated walkway connecting the garage to the campus. Construction is scheduled to start in April and wrap up by August.
While this is the company’s first project at Loma Linda University, Bomel has built many parking structures throughout its 44-year history at universities and colleges throughout Southern California, including recent cutting-edge facilities at Cal State Fullerton, Chapman University and the University of California, San Diego.
This is the second parking structure Bomel has completed in just the last few months in Southern California’s Inland Empire. In November, Bomel finished a 1,800-stall, four-level garage at the Desert Hills Premium Outlet Center in Cabazon. Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group owns the popular, upscale mall. Like the project at Loma Linda, the Desert Hills garage was constructed on an occupied site and is a critical component of a major renovation and expansion plan.
About Loma Linda University: Located near the city of San Bernardino, Calif., Loma Linda University is a Seventh-day Adventist educational health-sciences institution with more than 4,000 students. Eight schools comprise the University organization. More than 55 programs are offered by the schools of Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Religion and Behavioral Health. Curricula offered range from certificates of completion and associate in science degrees to doctor of philosophy and professional doctoral degrees. Students from more than 80 countries around the world and virtually every state in the nation are represented in Loma Linda University’s student body.
About Bomel Construction Co.: Established in 1970, Anaheim Hills, Calif.-based Bomel Construction is a family-owned business that generated $135 million in total revenue in 2013. The design-build contractor has completed major parking structures and performed extensive structural concrete work for municipalities, casinos, stadiums and large-scale commercial, retail and institutional projects throughout the western U.S. In addition to the corporate office in Anaheim Hills, Bomel has regional offices in Carlsbad, Calif., and Las Vegas.
For more information, please contact Paul Napolitano at 626-852-9959 or firstname.lastname@example.org.