YPSILANTI – A summer of unprecedented construction at Eastern Michigan University has included a wide array of improvements to the campus parking system, overseen by LAZ Parking, known as ParkEMU on Eastern’s campus. LAZ Parking is the parking operator employed by Provident Resources Group, the organization that entered into the parking concession agreement with Eastern in 2018.
The most noticeable improvement this summer was renovation of the University’s four-story, main parking structure, located adjacent to Bowen Field House and Halle Library.
The project, which cost about $1.4 million, included structural repairs to the second floor and the ramp leading up to the third floor. This renovation was finished with a texturized top coat for aesthetics and a better grip before fresh parking space lines were painted.
In addition, nine new handicap spaces were added throughout the parking structure and each of the three stairwells was renovated, which included new steel and texturized steps. The project also involved masonry repair on the walls and new paint in a variety of areas.
Other projects and upgrades over the last two summers include the following parking lots, some of which have been renamed for clarity of identification:
Parking lot/structure renovations
• Lots resurfaced include: Oakwood North (now the Pine Grove lot), Oakwood Center (now the Oakwood Lot), Cornell, Green Lot 1 southwest quadrant (now the Green Lot), Smith Reserved Lot. Note: Green Lot repairs were done in collaboration with Eastern.
• Two catch basins fully restored in Westview lot.
• New parking lot signs installed throughout campus to improve communication on rules.
• Fixed numerous potholes on campus (particularly in the Green and Rynearson lots).
• Lots resurfaced include Porter Circle, Normal Reserved, Normal Staff, McKenny Guest Lot, Oakwood South (now called the Science Complex Lot), Green Lot 1 northwest quadrant (now called the Green Lot).
As part of Eastern’s 35-year agreement with Provident Resources Group to have LAZ Parking operate EMU’s parking facilities, LAZ provided the University $55 million in an upfront payment that is being used to help bolster University reserves, which provide borrowing opportunities to fund capital improvements such as Sill Hall and the Rec/IM Building.
The agreement provides for an annual 5 percent cap on parking-rate increases for the first five years of the agreement, a significantly lower increase than Eastern students had seen in recent years. (Since 2010, annual parking increases at EMU had averaged 17 percent.).
The improvements are part of an extensive program of technology and lot renovations LAZ has undertaken since it took over EMU parking operations in Fall 2018.
The company, a nationally recognized operator of more than 3,150 parking systems around the country, including The Ohio State University, says it has sought to bring about faster and more seamless entry, exit and payment for users of Eastern’s many parking lots.
“We are thrilled to add value to the parking system on Eastern Michigan University’s campus,” said Mary Coursey, LAZ spokesperson. “As committed partners to the University, we will continue to work with Eastern to identify needs for improvement on campus, and will continue to make the parking system work better for EMU students, faculty, staff and the community.”
LAZ Parking is responsible for capital improvements to all Eastern parking facilities, with the exception of the College of Business Parking Garage, the Rynearson Stadium Lot, and the Convocation Center Lot. Eastern retains responsibility for capital improvements for those three locations. Eastern also retains the option to reduce or prohibit parking fees for certain special events such as student move-in and commencement.
About LAZ Parking
LAZ Parking founded in Hartford, CT in 1981, is one of the largest and fastest-growing parking companies in the United States, operating over a million parking spaces across the country in over 3,150 locations in 36 states and 410 cities. With over 38 years of experience providing parking management, transportation and mobility services, LAZ works seamlessly across a variety of market segments, including hospitality and valet, office buildings, medical, airport and transportation, campus, government and municipal, retail, events, residential building and shuttle services. Additional information can be found at www.lazparking.com.
About Provident Resources Group
Based in Baton Rouge, La., Provident Resources Group is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of building communities by promoting and advancing education; serving the needs of the elderly; promoting and advancing health care; assisting the poor by providing affordable housing; lessening the burdens of government; and preserving the environment. In order to fulfill its mission, the organization is involved in the development, construction, acquisition, ownership, management, maintenance and operation of public facilities. For more information on Provident Resources Group, visit www.provident.org.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.