NEXT IN NORTHRIDGE: Bomel Construction earns design-build contract for five-level parking structure on California State University campus; design documents being reviewed

July 26, 2018––A design-build team led by Bomel Construction and International Parking Design has been awarded a contract for the construction of a new 1,608-stall parking structure at California State University, Northridge. It will become the second garage built on the 353-acre campus by Bomel Construction. There are a total of four garages on campus.

Key to victory: ‘Early finish’
            “Our campus held a traditional blind design-build competition and Bomel won with the highest overall points between cost and design,” said Ken Rosenthal, CSUN’s associate vice president, facilities development and operations. Rosenthal added that an “early finish” was a major factor leading to the selection of the Bomel team.

            Design documents have been submitted to the Division of the State Architect and the State Fire Marshall. While a review of the documents is in progress, Bomel Project Manager Alex Matranga said the process isn’t far enough along yet to know when permits will be issued for the five-level parking structure. Matranga is also managing another project at an academic institution: the 1,556-stall parking structure under construction for College of the Canyons in Valencia. International Parking Design also is the architect for that project.

            The new 511,000-square-foot garage at Cal State Northridge––called G6––will be located on the east side of campus, near the soccer field and the intersection of Zelzah Avenue and Plummer Street. The construction cost is $25,690,476.

             Bomel Construction’s scope of responsibility will include establishing an entrance and exit that is aligned with the Zelzah/Plummer intersection and extending entry/exit queue lanes to mitigate traffic congestion. The garage will have spaces for EV charging stations; bicycle and scooter storage; dual-level, energy-efficient LED lighting and an enhanced storm water treatment system. Bomel will also provide the infrastructure for a photovoltaic system.

Scope of master plan
            The parking structure is part of the university’s 30-year master plan developed in 2005. The facilities targeted in the plan comprise about 1.5 million square feet of new enrollment-driven academic, administrative and student-support facilities, along with about 364,600 square feet of new, non-state-funded facilities and 46 acres of playfields for instructional, athletic and recreational use. The plan includes a total of 17,528 existing and new parking spaces by its final phase, accommodated in four new commuter parking structures, two new student residential parking structures and a small series of surface parking lots. Additionally, the plan allocates for up to 2,688 new student residential bed-spaces and up to 600 units of faculty and staff housing.

            G6 will be the first parking structure built on campus since 2009. Rosenthal said the new garage will be on the east side of campus to provide a better balance of parking. He said the new garage should be full “most days, most of the time.” CSUN has 11,957 open-air parking spaces and 6,332 stalls in parking garages.

            Like most California State University campuses, the overwhelming majority of Northridge’s 38,000 students commute to school; about 3,200 students live on campus. The new garage will fulfill two main objectives: help more students find parking spots faster as they arrive on campus, especially during the first few weeks of every semester, and accommodate future enrollment growth.

Historic site
            The new parking structure should be under construction on January 17, 2019––the 25th anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake, a temblor that registered 6.7 on the Richter scale and caused 57 deaths and $20 billion in property damage, at the time the most expensive natural disaster in the United States. Numerous buildings on the Cal State Northridge campus sustained severe damage.

            “Because Northridge is considered a high-seismic area, the structural design is altered slightly to accommodate earthquakes more so than in areas that are not as seismically sensitive,” Matranga said. “Specifically, the rebar ties in the columns and beams are increased significantly to handle the additional vertical loads.

            “The interesting thing is that after the Northridge earthquake, building codes changed so much that every parking structure we do today is being designed to standards that were changed directly because of what happened in Northridge.”

            Working in a very crowded area and coordinating deliveries are two ongoing challenges that Bomel’s crews will face throughout the construction phase, Matranga said. 

            Before construction begins, Bomel will need to relocate a main fiber line. “The line services many campus and residential buildings and relocation will need to take place during the school’s off-season to minimize the impact,” Matranga said.

Strong design-build team
            In addition to Bomel Construction and International Parking Design, the design build team includes Culp and Tanner, structural engineer; Wheeler & Gray, civil engineer; ACCO Engineered Systems, mechanical engineer; Apollo Electric, electrical engineer; Don Brandel Plumbing; and landLAB, environmental design.

            Bomel has been erecting parking structures at college campuses for decades. In the last three years alone, Bomel Construction has completed four, multi-level parking structures at Southern California colleges, one each at the University of Southern California (1,300 stalls), University of La Verne (940), Cal Poly Pomona (1,800) and Miramar College (500). Additionally, Bomel started construction this year on parking structures at College of the Canyons (1,556) and the University of San Diego (1,221).

ABOUT BOMEL CONSTRUCTION: Established in 1970, Irvine, Calif.-based Bomel Construction Co. Inc. is widely regarded as the dean of design-build parking structure construction in the western United States and one of the largest concrete contractors in the United States. It placed 117th on Engineering News-Record’s national ranking of the largest specialty contractors in 2017. In addition to its award-winning parking structure portfolio, Bomel is a one-stop source for all concrete construction needs. The company maintains a highly skilled staff for its in-house structural, architectural and site concrete divisions. Bomel works directly for property owners, developers and general contractors. Its portfolio of work includes a wide range of projects built at large, well-known casino-resorts, shopping malls, office buildings, mass transit centers, airports, universities and community colleges.  For more information: Bomel Construction Co. Inc., 96 Corporate Park, Irvine, CA 92606. Phone: 714-921-1660. Web site:

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