Parking project incorporates storm water management

Haber Road construction

Photo by Bob Elbert.

With the addition of six apartment buildings in Frederiksen Court comes parking needs for more residents. Facilities planning and management staff capitalized on that need by integrating storm water management solutions within the former pasture on the east side of Haber Road. Work began this month on a 500-space parking lot and green space improvements and should wrap up in November. This week, crews are moving soil from water retention areas and compacting it on the parking lot site.

Mark Huss, assistant director of facilities planning and management, said storm water management is a major component of the project that utilizes the existing pasture to help alleviate erosion issues into Squaw Creek. He said the work being done in the former horse pasture will leave the green space in better environmental shape.

"The site is being reshaped to create storm water retention areas that will control large rain events and promote water infiltration into the aquifer," Huss said. "This storm water management system will control the locations where water enters the creek, will slow down and reduce the flow and will promote water infiltration."

Student input

An Iowa State landscape architecture studio class, led by associate professor Mimi Wagner, developed the initial concept for the project. Outdoor classroom and experiential learning activities are part of the site's future use.

"One teaching activity that happens in this area involves some of the existing trees," Huss said. "The design of the storm water management system considered the importance of these trees and preserved them."

High and dry

During the most recent major flood, water from Squaw Creek filled much of the former pasture area. But the project's storm water management and parking lot grade should keep residents' cars high and dry.

"The parking lot is not being constructed in the flood way, but will be in an area that is affected by major flood events. The surface of the parking lot will be above the recent high-water levels," Huss said.

The $1.25 million project includes a new bike path along Haber Road. The concrete parking lot -- which measures about 650-by-300 feet -- is scheduled to open for spring semester with the last four new apartment buildings.