Monday, December 18, 2006

The University Steps up to the Plate

The future 520, and Sound Transit projects are going to have a major impact on Univesity of Washington Athletics, the Medical School, and the entire Montlake corridor. The University has decided to step up to the plate by asking for a considerable sum of money to mitigate those impacts.

Before construction starts, the state Department of Transportation should build two parking garages with a total of 730 stalls, for $34 million, according to a list the UW furnished to The Seattle Times. The UW is asking for $60 million more to make up for what university officials say would be higher costs for a proposed stadium remodel, if highway work is happening at the same time.

The UW wants something even bigger from the state: a one-mile landscaped lid over Montlake Boulevard in the event the state widens it to six lanes, and an additional 2,000-stall garage. I have always liked the idea of a pedestrian plaza outside of the stadium with the highway running underneath. It is a nice way to tie the upper, lower, and athletic campuses together.

The wish list also includes $3 million for years of lost ticket sales in football and basketball — presuming some fans would stay home - plus $25 million to the medical center, if some patients avoid it while nearby streets are torn up.

When you are looking for ways to fund what basically will be a new stadium and athletic complex there is no better way to get the ball rolling than by asking for some type of public funding. The state should pay at least that much to mitigate the damages to the area during, and after consruction.

They haven't gone public with what they plan to do with Sound Transit, but you can bet they will also want to be compensated for mitigation of impact on that project also. One thing you all saw in the remodel drawing was an impressive garage complex attached to the stadium, well I guess this is what will fund that. The garage would help mitigate the impact of lost parking paces during construction.

The stadium model will cost in the 200 million dollar range and it looks like UW is moving ahead with a stipend from the state, and possibly Sound Transit to get it all going. We are talking a lot of money here, and that is what it is going to have to happen to kick start this thing during the construction periods of 520, and the Light Rail Tunnel.


prrbrr said...

thanks, johnb. Hadn't seen or heard anything on this yet so was interesting, and glad to see the UW step up and say, ball is in play. Anyway, have a happy holiday season and a great new year. We will be going to see the bball dawgs play USC at the brand new Galen center. With the new year comes travel back to SEA to watch PAC10 Bball games, since we are first year season ticket holders in BBall. Then of course, spring ball.

Health Insurance Expert said...

It is a good start, and a smart start. For some reason the state figured that UW would just say ok, put an off ramp through our South parking lot for the good of the region. What the state didn't expect was Washington asking for close to 100 million to mitigate the damages such an intrusion would cause for the athletic program, and the the nations leading reasearch hospital.

The cool thing is whether they run the off ramp through the South Lot, or expand Montlake to six lanes the UW, and athletic department are requesting serious funds.

If you can do it for the Seahawks, the Mariners, and the Sonic's, they should be able to do it for their own institutions.