Normal Street gravel lot to be removed

Trey Crumbie

Those using the gravel parking lot on Normal Street will soon have to park their vehicles elsewhere.

The temporary parking lot will be closed to make way for the construction of the Honors College and International Center. 

Kerra Ogden, project manager of Capital Construction, said construction on the building cannot begin until sealed bids from general contractors are received. The bids will be received and opened on Feb. 4 at 3:30 p.m., and a general contractor will be decided days after. 

After a general contractor is selected, a brief meeting will be held with the contractor before the construction can begin. Development of the new Honors College and International Center is an 18-month project that will cost $22 million. 

Odgen said the bidding will be a competitive process. 

“We have a lot of interest in this particular project,” Ogden said.

Ogden said if the bids received are favorable, construction will begin “immediately,” but if the bids are higher than what’s expected, the architect of the building will redesign, and a rebidding will occur. 

“We hope we don’t have to do that,” Ogden said.

Ogden said if a rebid is held, the gravel parking lot will remain open a little longer. 

John Osborne, vice president of Campus Services and Facilities, said although the plan is to begin construction as soon as possible, he is aware of the lot’s convenience. 

“We will use it for as long as possible,” Osborne said.

Jennifer Tougas, director of Parking and Transportation Services, said in addition to the removal of the Normal Street gravel parking lot, the gravel lot on Center Street will be closed as well.

The parking lot, which was leased, has been bought by Trittenbach Development, a construction company based out of Missouri. Trittenbach plans to build housing and retail space in the area. The parking lot will remain available to use until May 31 of this year. 

Tougas said PTS is focusing on addressing the issue of lost parking spaces.

“We’re really pursuing several different ideas,” Tougas said. 

Tougas said some of the options that will be explored include increasing capacity where available and working with GObg, Bowling Green’s public transit system. 

“We’ve really reached the point where the lack of parking is affecting more than students trying to come to campus, it affects other events as well,” Tougas said.