September 21, 2019

Webster to nearly double size of garage

Senior Nicole King was ecstatic when she received an email with a link to a press release announcing Webster University will build a parking garage addition on Garden Avenue in the summer of 2013. The addition was the result of an agreement between the university and Nerinx Hall High School.

King has commuted to campus since her freshman year. She presented on parking issues at Delegates’ Agenda in fall 2010. King said the Delegates’ Agenda presentation didn’t directly change the parking situation on campus. Instead, she said the presentation informed students.

“(At the time), we thought, ‘Why are we bringing this to the administration? There’s nothing we can do right now,’” King said. “But they (the administration) still listened.”

The new garage will be approximately the same size as Webster’s current garage and will have 600 parking spaces. Of those spaces, 500 will be designated for Webster and 100 for Nerinx. Construction is set to begin in the summer of 2013.

Nerinx President Barbara Roche said a possible parking negotiation was discussed approximately a year ago, but a serious discussion started early this summer.

“We’re pretty landlocked in terms of our campus area, so parking is a priority for our families and our students,” Roche said.

Nerinx will contribute the land it currently uses as a parking lot, which sits east of Webster’s current garage, in exchange for 100 parking spaces designated for Nerinx’s use. Webster will pay for the construction of the garage.  Costs are estimated at about $9 million, said Susan Kerth, Webster University spokeswoman.

“We’re not anticipating growing our student population, but just to accommodate the students we have well, without impinging on the neighbors. We really wanted to try to increase the parking available for them,” Roche said.

Roche said Nerinx currently does not have enough parking for its student population. Nerinx has approximately 625 students, and its current parking is used for students, faculty and staff. Nerinx’s main parking lot is located behind Nerinx, next to Webster’s East Academic Building (EAB).

Nerinx built the lot on Garden Avenue about five years ago. It has 47 parking spaces. The new garage will provide Nerinx with 53 additional spaces, a total of 100 parking spots.

Webster’s current garage was constructed in 2001. It was designed to have an attachment, Greg Gunderson, Webster University vice president and chief financial officer, said in a Journal interview in April. During the interview, he also said Webster priced a garage extension three years ago. The cost three years ago was in the $3 million to $5 million range.

Webster’s current garage has approximately 690 spaces, Kerth said. The new garage will not have office space like Webster’s current garage.

Kerth said the project is not yet out for bid to select a contractor, and the university is drafting a proposal.

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