Ryan Companies US, Inc. Begins Work on University of St. Thomas Parking Ramp

Campus ramp created with community support and eye towards future campus living


MINNEAPOLIS (May 27, 2008) –Ryan Companies US, Inc. today announced that construction has begun on a new parking ramp on the University of St. Thomas south campus in St. Paul, Minn. The five-level, 725-stall ramp, designed by Ryan and located near the southwest corner of Cretin and Grand Avenues, is scheduled to be completed in early February 2009 with landscaping completed by mid-June 2009.

“The customer actively sought feedback from the community, taking their viewpoint into consideration, which meant the design period was longer than normal,” said Mark Welch, senior project manager, Ryan Companies US, Inc. “By sharing the design ideas with the community throughout each phase of the design process, the University had full support from the community when the concept was brought to the city for approval.”

The attention to community feedback paid off when the city’s planning commission reviewed the concept and suggested changing the design to cover the openings on the ramp to make them look like windows. Ryan designers prepared five alternate concepts for review, and community organizers expressed their support for the original concept that was ultimately approved for construction.

The Ryan design team used Building Information Modeling (BIM) to prepare the ramp’s design. This allowed presentation of 3-D and 4-D modeling to the customer who could then "ride through" the ramp simulation instead of visualizing the project from traditional paper plan form. University representatives wanted the design to mesh seamlessly with the existing campus aesthetic, and were willing to consider an above average investment to make it a reality on their campus. The exterior will feature the latest pre-cast concrete technologies to simulate the look of brick and stone, accented by staircase towers enclosed in glass and a roofline similar to other nearby campus buildings.

“The ability to work with a top tier design and engineering firm is very exciting for us” said Mark Vangsgard VP for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer.  “While many would consider a parking facility as not very interesting, Ryan Companies designed a parking ramp that is an impressive mix of practical efficiency and architecture blending of styles on our predominately collegiate gothic styled campus” said Vangsgard.  He went on to point out how this facility will help “begin a process that will re-define future facilities at the university” as this resolution to some long standing parking issues on campus will pave the way for additional planned facilities n the future.

As the University considers future growth, the south campus may see additional building projects in the coming years. The parking ramp’s design was fine-tuned with potential expansion in mind. The current five-level plan features one below-grade parking level and design considerations to add two more levels and possibly an observatory in the future. With the additional traffic flow in the areas, Ryan has also taken on street improvements to service the new ramp at the intersection and to help minimize congestion, including the extension of the existing turn lane, widening of the street, and upgraded traffic signals.

With construction underway, crews will work throughout the summer months to meet a hard and fast deadline: reopen the Grand Avenue extension into campus two days before Labor Day, when students return to campus. With planned Summer Youth programs also scheduled, Ryan is centering its Safety Program on key areas around the construction site to minimize the impact on the programs while keeping the project safe and on schedule.

About Ryan Companies, US, Inc.

Ryan Companies US Inc., a nationally recognized developer, design-builder and real estate manager, has specialized in fully integrated solutions for more than 70 years. Ryan builds lasting relationships with a project delivery model based on full-service customized solutions and total collaboration – pairing the customer’s needs and expectations with the talents of a team of developers, financiers, architects, engineers, constructors and property managers. In addition to its Minneapolis office, Ryan has offices in Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Des Moines, Iowa. Ryan was named the 2007 National Developer of the Year by the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties (NAIOP). For more information, visit www.ryancompanies.com

Editor’s note:    Interviews with Ryan executives are available by contacting Sarah Voigt at 612-455-1784 or svoigt@psbpr.com