Bomel Construction Co: Happy 50th Birthday! Community College in Southern California Celebrating With New Parking Structure

May 07, 2019



Bomel Construction Co: Happy 50th Birthday! Community College in Southern California Celebrating With New Parking Structure




VALENCIA, Calif.––College of the Canyons has received a birthday gift of sorts in the form of a new three-level parking structure that was completed two months ahead of schedule.



Students at the fast-growing community college in the Santa Clarita Valley, north of Los Angeles, should find parking spots faster, considering the new garage has 1,556 stalls, a net increase of 1,000 spaces on campus. What’s more, their vehicles will be garaged in the shade while they attend classes. Temperatures in the Santa Clarita Valley routinely exceed 90––and frequently 100––degrees from late spring to early fall.

The design-build general contractor for the 424,000-square-foot parking structure was Bomel Construction Co. Inc., widely regarded as the dean of parking structure construction in the West.

“Even though we had a few delays due to weather and [Department of the State Architect] approval, Bomel was still able to turn the structure over just in time for the start of our spring semester,” said Will Karrat, director of facilities projects at the college, which was established in 1969.

The poured-in-place concrete parking structure is the first major project funded by Measure E, a $230 million bond measure approved by Santa Clarita Valley voters in 2016. At the Valencia campus, Measure E will also help modernize 350,000 square feet of existing buildings, many of which are more than 40 years old. At the Canyon Country campus, college officials hope to build out 80 percent of the school’s modular structures into permanent buildings, allowing the school to build more classrooms and science labs.

Bomel took just 11 months to complete construction of the $22 million parking structure, starting in March 2018 and finishing in February. Alex Matranga, Bomel’s project manager, said getting the garage done two months earlier than anticipated was the most challenging part of the entire project.

“We utilized a lot of overtime with our crews and our subs’ crews to make up time in the schedule wherever we could in order to meet the school’s demand for the accelerated schedule,” he explained.

The new garage is on the former site of Parking Lot 7, at the corner of Rockwell Canyon Road and Valencia Boulevard. Parking Design Solutions and structural engineer Culp & Tanner were Bomel’s partners for the design-build project.

Enrollment at College of the Canyons, which surpassed 20,000 in 2017, is expected to reach 30,000 in the next 10 years. About 4,000 students are waitlisted every semester, unable to get English, math, science, transfer and career training classes.

Rapid growth has put a prolific pinch on parking at the Valencia campus.

“The first three or four weeks every semester there is a line of cars searching for parking spots on campus, which results in some students being late for classes and staff not finding parking,” said Karrat, who added that the parking structure is “going to make a big difference.”

The parking structure’s design and size is similar to an 1,800-stall garage Bomel Construction finished in 2016 at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. The three-level garage was built to conform to the site’s sloping topography and minimize the impact on the campus.

At College of the Canyons, Bomel managed a seven-week excavation phase after the surface lot was demolished. The college’s new parking structure required the excavation of 30,000 cubic yards of soil, but its location enables the garage to have at-grade entrances on each of the three levels and be minimally invasive to neighbors.

“The site chosen was an easy selection,” Karrat said. “The way the elevation is, on one side of the lot we’re three stories up, but on the other side it meets up with the grade on the existing street. It will actually look like a level lot from most of the community.”

The garage measures 563 feet by 250 feet by 43 feet, 3 ½-inches tall and include four staircases and two elevators with glass windows.

In addition to Matranga, Bomel’s project team included Bill Godwin, project executive; Duowei Li, project engineer; and Dan Landini, superintendent.

Karrat said a seamless flow of communication and the ability of Bomel’s project team to incorporate a fire lane around the entire perimeter of the parking structure were two of the factors driving the decision to select Bomel to build the college’s first parking garage.

“It was obvious that they have tons of experience building these structures, which is why our project was such a success,” Karrat remarked. The early completion “was greatly appreciated by the students and staff,” he added.

“Our facilities department has received many compliments regarding the overall look and size of the structure, and we have Bomel to thank for that.”

Matranga said the project had its share of challenges but the constant collaboration of a cohesive team ensured a successful outcome.

“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our design team, subcontractors, construction crews and ownership group, we were able to complete the project ahead of schedule and open the parking structure for the students in time for the start of their spring semester,” he said. “Bomel would like to extend its sincere gratitude to everyone involved on this project for a job well done.”

Matranga, whose current responsibilities include managing the upcoming construction of a 1,600-stall parking structure at California State University, Northridge, said his relationship with the college’s representatives was a rewarding experience.

“The project owner and inspection team were helpful, understanding and a joy to work with,” he said.