Our origins in parking go back to 1983 when our Parking Solutions Division was known as Carl Walker, Inc. Today, the Division offers a wide range of parking solutions such as structural engineering and functional design, master planning, feasibility and financial studies, architecture, design-build, restoration and preservation, and technical assessment.
Colleges and universities have parking challenges unique to the higher education community, yet differing from campus to campus. Some institutions cater to commuter and non-traditional students while others have large populations of undergraduate residents. Some campuses have expansive rural or suburban settings featuring open space and natural preserves, and some are dense urban centers. Colleges and universities are publicly funded or private; historic and modern; and they are the heart of the communities in which they are located. Across all institutions, the students, faculty, staff, visitors, and alumni always demand convenient, economical, and readily available parking. WGI Parking Solutions has successfully collaborated with higher education institutions in 39 states on more than 500 projects to improve campus parking.
As college campuses grow, new construction squeezes existing parking resources. Rising student populations and a desire to keep the center of campus pedestrian friendly and academic focused have led to new paradigms for campus parking and transit. WGI’s Parking Planning & Studies group provides campus parking master planning, transportation demand management (TDM) strategies, and parking expansion feasibility studies. WGI’s in-house experts bring their experience as university parking operators to guide our higher education “best practices” consulting for daily and event operations, technology, branding, wayfinding, security, disabled accessibility (ADA), financial modeling, and frontline staff training, among others. Monetizing and privatizing campus parking assets is another relatively recent development, and our consultants have contributed their expertise to inform both sides of the conversation.
WGI’s Parking Engineering & Design group specializes in state-of-the-art parking facilities that integrate with the campus context operationally, architecturally, and budgetarily. Whether the campus is neo-Georgian, gothic, mountain modern, or anything in between, our facilities are visually appealing and designed for effortless parking, intuitive wayfinding and connectivity, safety, durability, and environmental sustainability. The principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) guide our designs, and our facilities have open interiors, glass-enclosed stairs, and elevators, and excellent lighting to promote visibility and wayfinding. WGI’s designs incorporate proven materials and methods, intended to keep new parking assets low-maintenance for decades. Our designs align with the recommendations of GBCI’s Parksmart standard for environmental sustainability. Universities and colleges are trendsetters when it comes to mixed-use and multi-modal parking facilities. Taking a cue from urban design, our campus parking structures often incorporate office and lab space, public safety operations, retail, restaurant, and residential. Many of our higher education facilities accommodate bus transit hubs, and almost all provide some form of bicycle storage. With the forecast trend for decreased private ownership of cars, coupled with ride sharing and more prevalent alternate modes of transportation, demand for on-campus parking may decrease in the future. Our Flexpark model envisions new campus parking facilities to be adaptable for future conversion from parking to other uses, such as classrooms and residence halls.
Parking facilities are a long-term investment, and, as such, there is associated upkeep of the waterproofing systems, concrete floors, façade, lighting, equipment, and general appearance. Parking structures require periodic review by qualified professionals, and WGI’s parking restoration experts have the experience and deep understanding of deterioration mechanisms to properly diagnose and address any garage deficiency. We understand the importance of preserving parking spaces during maintenance and repair programs, as well as how to phase construction activity to minimize campus disruption and maximize user convenience. Our condition assessments are thoughtful and thorough, providing a roadmap for long-term repairs, maintenance, and associated costs. Our engineered repair documents are detailed, coordinated, and effective to clearly define the work and ensure competitive pricing. During construction, our field personnel are proactive and fully engaged to help navigate campus construction processes and assure that the contractor provides quality work conforming to the design documents, campus standards, and current industry practice.