Parking contractor withdraws bid

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By ANDREA LOPEZ

Features Editor

(WARRENSBURG, Mo., Muleskinner) — The new UCM student parking lot project on the west side of campus near the new mixed-use facility named The Crossing – South at Holden that was approved in July is now on hold following a recent bid withdrawal from the firm that was approved to do the construction.

Bids were solicited from construction firms during the summer with Phillips Paving Inc., Kansas City being the only company to place a bid. The company’s $1.25 million bid was approved by the board during a meeting on July 14 with the agreement that the construction would be completed by Sept. 3, according to a news release. Three days later, the company withdrew its solicitation, leaving the university to seek new options.

“The university wants to ensure all work is quality, and we’ll follow all necessary processes to move as quickly as possible, but, realistically, it could take months before the expanded parking is available,” said Jeff Murphy, assistant director of University Relations.

The university has since been reviewing its options for ways to move forward with the expansion in parking, including possible rebidding for the project. No plans have been announced at this time, but the new parking will be delayed past Sept. 3.

The university obtained seven different properties in the area west of the Audrey J. Walton Stadium, between South and King streets, for the new student parking project.

The new parking facilities, when completed, will feature two news lots that will accommodate up to 411 vehicles. Designed by the Kansas City engineering firm Burns & McDonnell, the area will include gutters, curbs, a water retention basin, lighting, green space and landscaping.

Funding for the student parking project comes from parking reserve funds. This money is generated through the fees used to pay for campus parking permits.

“As anyone on a college campus can tell you, you can never have too much parking,” Murphy said. “UCM continues to grow, and providing additional parking to help accommodate an increasing number of students who commute or live on campus, is important to providing a quality of living and learning environment.”

With nearly 6,000 on-campus parking spaces currently managed by UCM Parking Services, Public Safety Assistant Director of Police Operations Daniel Othic said there is sufficient amount of parking to accommodate students, faculty and staff.

“Most issues arising from parking is the location of the parking in relation to someone’s destination on campus,” Othic said. “As with any event that requires parking – sporting events, concerts – the earlier you arrive to the event, the more likely you are to find parking closer to your destination. This is no different for those attending classes or who work on campus.”

The busiest times to park seem to be between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

“The first few weeks of school generally see the most congestion,” Othic said. “Once students have figured out the best locations to park, arrive a little earlier and/or find another location to park, the congestion alleviates considerably.”

Parking services administration said they will continue to enforce parking policies as normal.

“The purpose of citations is to gain compliance with the parking regulations and to ensure that Parking Services provides adequate parking to those that pay for that service,” Othic said. “Those that receive a citation and believe it was issued unfairly may appeal the citation at Parking Services within five days of it being issued.”