Posted by William Nunnelley on 2006-08-09

Samford University has announced plans to build a four-level parking deck on the north side of its campus designed to accommodate about 600 automobiles.

Construction of the $10 million project is scheduled to begin later this year, with anticipated completion for the fall 2007 semester. Last week, the City of Homewood Board of Zoning Adjustments granted Samford its needed variance for construction of the multi-level facility.

The facade of the new parking pavilion will complement Samford's nationally-recognized Georgian-Colonial architecture and will be built on a hillside of Samford property that slopes toward Saulter Road. The university will maintain a 50-foot buffer zone between the parking facility and Saulter, and will point any needed lights on the deck toward the interior of the campus and away from the Saulter Road neighborhood.

There will be no access to Saulter or Windsor Boulevard from Samford other than an emergency exit, Samford officials said. All normal deck traffic will come from the interior of the Samford campus.

Samford officials anticipate that the new pavilion will provide parking for students living in Lena Vail Davis and Mamie Mell Smith halls and for some commuter students.

When the new pavilion is completed, Samford will have added about 750 new parking spaces since January 2006. A new 320-space lot was opened in the spring south of Seibert Stadium.

The new parking project also will include relocation of some physical plant facilities, Samford officials said, that will be displaced by the new construction.

The addition of the parking deck is part of more than $50 million in campus construction completed or begun during the past two years. Included are the new $8 million Jane Hollock Brock Recital Hall set to open this month, the $32 million Pete Hanna Arena to open in late 2007, a new $2 million tennis facility scheduled for completion this fall and four new heating plants, two of which are completed.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.