The parking structure off Oakwood Avenue on the west side of campus has been undergoing some extensive renovations this summer. ParkEMU, as operated by LAZ parking, began renovations at the conclusion of the winter semester.
The nonprofit company Provident Resources Group, Inc. serves as the concessionaire for EMU’s parking partnership with LAZ parking. Provident Resources Group engaged Walker Consultants to advise on the integrity and needs of the parking garage. Walker Consultants then provided a restoration design proposal to address the structure’s deteriorating conditions. Subsequently, Ram Construction, out of Livonia, MI, was hired to complete the renovation project.
According to LAZ spokesperson Mary Coursey, the projected cost of the parking structure renovation is approximately $1.4 million.
Beyond the pricey parking structure renovation, ParkEMU also plans to invest in other areas around campus. Lots slated for resurfacing by August of this year includes: Green Lot 1- Southwest Quadrant, Cornell Courts Apartments Lot, Smith Reserved Lot, Oakwood North Lot and Oakwood Center Lot. May of this year also saw drainage system reconstruction completed in the Westview Lot.
The renovation is on schedule, according to Coursey, with the project not experiencing any major issues or delays. Patrons arriving in the fall can anticipate having full access to the garage without any significant changes to the traffic flow of the structure.
Currently, LAZ parking is in the second year of a 35-year Public Private Partnership with Eastern Michigan University. This partnership is overseen by Provident Resources Group, Inc.
Provident Resources Group, Inc.’s web page states that their organization is an “emerging fourth sector [of business] - an innovative combination encompassing corporate social responsibility, social investing, social enterprise, and public-private partnerships.” Provident Resources Group champions themselves on fulfilling their charitable missions while achieving sound financial results.
According to Coursey, patrons can expect to see their parking fees used wisely. With an increase in parking tickets since taking on the privatized parking contract, students will no doubt expect major improvements in the parking experience as the fall semester approaches.