Pugh Street Garage to Temporarily Close for Repairs – Statecollege.com

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The Pugh Street parking garage in State College. Photo by Geoff Rushton | StateCollege.com
State College’s second largest public parking garage will be closed for a week while it undergoes repairs, according to a notice from the borough.
The Pugh Street garage will be closed from 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 19 to 6 a.m. on Monday, June 27.
“This closure is necessary to complete the required repairs and coatings to the parking facility,” the borough notice stated.
Permit holders for the Pugh garage, as well as transient vehicles, are asked to use the Fraser Street and Beaver Avenue garages. The McAllister Street parking deck’s second and third levels will be reserved for McAllister deck permit holders only during the Pugh garage closure. The ground floor of the deck will be open to the public.
A 2020 condition appraisal by Walker Consultants identified an estimated $1.4 million in repairs needed through 2023 at the 158,000-square-foot Pugh garage, which was constructed in 1972 and has 491 parking spaces.
In total, the appraisal found the borough’s four public parking structures were in need of nearly $4 million in repairs over three years and an estimated total of about $7.3 million over the next decade.
State College Borough Council in 2021 approved borrowing $10 million, in part to construct parking facility improvements, as well as to refinance existing bond debt and to fund the purchase of a former fraternity house to be repurposed for human services initiatives.
Two other State College parking facilities also will temporarily close this summer, borough communications specialist Kayla Lafferty said. The Fraser Street garage will be closed for a long weekend starting July 24 and reopening July 26. Work on the McAllister deck is ongoing and will require partial closures over the next six weeks, with completion anticipated the first week in August.
For the Pugh garage, repairs continue to serve as a stopgap until a replacement can be constructed. Talks of replacing the now 50-year-old garage date back at least a decade when it already appeared to be nearing the end of its useful life, though the borough has subsequently identified repairs over the years to extend its life.
The borough’s proposed Capital Improvement Plan for 2023-27 projects a total of $35 million for “new parking structures,” with $26 million of that slotted for 2026.
“Public/private partnerships estimated to be $25,000,000 for property acquisition and construction of parking facilities in Downtown are planned for 2023. Land acquisition could begin as early as 2022,” according to the proposed CIP.
“A public/private partnership to construct a new parking structure is planned for 2024-2026. This project may be part of a site redevelopment in the Downtown core, but no specific site or project has been identified. The Borough’s share of the costs is estimated to be $26,000,000.”
Borough Manager Tom Fountaine said last year that State College could potentially get up to 10 more years out of the Pugh garage but cannot wait that long to move forward with a replacement.
Ed Holmes, purchasing director and risk manager, said it is rare to be operating a 50-year-old parking structure.
“There is no book on a 50-year-old parking garage,” Holmes said. “It’s a testament to the way we’ve maintained this structure for all that time. But we are forging new territory here and I think we just have to be prepared for the fact that it’s much closer to the end of its time than it is to the beginning.”
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