UH in talks on theater-parking design
What ever happened to plans to build a new parking structure at the University of Hawaii at Manoa behind Kennedy Theatre?
Answer: The university is in final negotiations with a local architectural firm to begin designing the six-story parking structure and performing arts center, said Thomas Bingham, interim dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at UH-Manoa.
About $1 million has been spent so far, and the governor released another $2 million last year, Bingham said.
The university is asking the Legislature for $3.9 million to finish the design work, he added. Construction costs are estimated to be about $60 million.
Originally, the university planned on separate, side-by-side buildings for parking and the performing arts center. However, it made more sense to combine the project, Bingham said.
If all goes as planned, construction on the new building with three floors of parking and three floors of classroom and office space could start in 2010.
The new building will add between 450 and 480 parking spaces and will allow the dance and theater programs to be in one place on campus. Bingham said classrooms, offices and rehearsal space are now scattered among four buildings on campus. The university formerly used space in the University Lab School for dance rehearsals. But that building burned down last year.
The building will also include a small theater for performances.
One of the issues that still has to be worked out is the loss of 126 visitor parking spaces behind Kennedy Theatre during construction, Bingham said.
"That's going to be one of the challenges," he said.
It also has not been determined how many of the parking spaces in the new structure will be for the general public and how many will be for faculty, staff and possibly students.
This update was written by Craig Gima.
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