As we continue to reflect back on significant decades from our first 55 years, this month we are taking a look at some of our most influential projects from the 1990s! During the 1990s we had the pleasure of working with a number of large university campuses and a major airport!


The University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia. – Over a 30-year span, the University of Virginia had constructed and expanded several of the facilities on its richly historic campus. Demand for parking generated from the developments, along with campus population growth, had risen occupancy levels of campus parking to almost 100%. Rich & Associates was selected by the University of Virginia to prepare an implementation plan for the construction of new campus parking facilities. The project was divided in to two phases. Phase I – Site Analysis and Selection Study, and Phase II – Design and Engineering.

To complete Phase I, Rich & Associates implemented a site selection program to effectively analyze each potential site for proposed new parking. In collaboration with the University Project Building Committee, an Interactive Planning and Design Session was conducted on campus for one week. Working closely with the Committee, various campus officials and organizations, a site selection program was prepared for proposed new parking. Evaluation and selection criteria was developed by Rich & Associates, including long-term master planning objectives, cost, level of service, constructability, etc. It was also determined that new campus parking should meet the following goals:

  • To serve the overall parking needs of the University
  • To meet the long-term needs of the UVA community and its surrounding neighborhoods
  • To meet the plans and goals outlined in the University Facilities Master Plan
  • To maximize the number of parking spaces available on any site
  • To increase the parking departments revenue generation capacity
  • To allow efficient and pleasant vehicular and pedestrian access
  • To maintain the beauty and historic character of the University

Following the completion of a parking garage site planning study, Rich & Associates was retained by the University to provide design and engineering services for a new parking garage that was built as part of the expansion and renovation to Scott Stadium. Rich & Associates worked closely with the architects for the stadium expansion and renovation. The result is a unique precast parking garage constructed into the hillside.

The Scott Stadium garage features parking for 650 vehicles during special events at the stadium and during normal school days. The roof or top level of the parking structure was engineered to support parking for large passengers busses and television communication trailers.

Shortly after the completion of the Scott Stadium garage, Rich & Associates was retained to work with a team of local architects on the design and engineering of a second parking garage to serve the new John Paul Jones Arena. The new 15,000 seat arena primarily serves the University’s basketball program. The 1,000 space parking garage serves both the arena and other campus parking needs.


York University – North York, Ontario, Canada. – Seated on over 600 acres of land, York University had been growing steadily since 1963. Until recently, the University has been able to expand surface parking to meet its ever-increasing demand. The new construction will eliminate almost 1,000 valuable spaces and includes Seneca College (a new junior college), a football field, and a Hockey complex. These developments forced the University to take a serious look at the parking conditions on campus, and to plan for their first parking garage. The University selected Rich & Associates to develop a program for the parking and select a site (or sites) for the campus’s first parking garage(s).

Recognizing the concerns of many campus constituents with multi-level parking garages, Rich & Associates conducted on-campus Interactive Planning and Design Sessions. At these sessions, various campus groups were given the opportunity to voice their needs and concerns with the project, including security, accessibility, and the aesthetic impact. The information gathered during these workshops was compiled in a project program manual used in the site selection process. Rich & Associates then analyzed 17 potential parking garage sites. Working with the University, evaluation criteria were established, it included compliance with the overall master plan, vehicular ingress/egress, pedestrian access and safety, revenue generating potential, security, design efficiency, and relative cost.

Once the sites were analyzed Rich & Associates narrowed the options to three principal sites that conformed to the overall objectives of the campus and the goals of the campus master plan. As many as sixteen design schemes were developed on the three chosen sites. Each scheme included various options including educational/office space, an advanced technology center and a campus security office. The architectural relationship and impact on adjacent buildings was studied, as well as environmental impacts, including storm water management. Cost estimates for each scheme were developed and used as part of the overall selection criteria.

Since the completion of the parking master site plan, Rich & Associates provided planning and design services for three campus parking structures including:

  • York Lanes Garage – 350 spaces
  • Arboretum Garage – 750 spaces including 30,000 sq. ft. of space for the campus safety and parking departments and the campus computer lab
  • Student Services Garage – 1,000 spaces


Lester B. Pearson International Airport – Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Rich & Associates, Inc., as parking consultants to the lead engineering team, provided programming and functional design of a new 12,000 space parking garage as part of a new replacement terminal development project at LBPIA in Toronto, Ontario. Working as the lead parking consultant to the prime engineering consulting team for the parking and roadway infrastructure, Rich & Associates coordinated closely with the Airport and terminal design team specifically related to traffic flow of the parking garage, and vehicular and pedestrian circulation between the parking and new terminal.

Two distinct challenges faced the design team. First, was the phasing of one of Canada’s largest free-standing parking garages. Due to the need to maintain existing operations during the phase one construction of approximately 9,000 spaces, the team carefully studied various phase one plans that preserved existing access roads and buildings on a portion of the site.

The second challenge was to design floor plans and a circulation system to accommodate the segregation of varying user groups. The garage provides parking to airport employees, long-term and short-term parking, as well as rental car ready and return functions. The challenge was to segregate and control these types of uses on different levels within this massive 1,063 foot by 656 foot garage while maintaining efficient traffic flow and circulation on each floor and from floor to floor.

Under a separate contract with the airport, Rich & Associates provided planning, design and specifications for new parking access and revenue control systems. The new system featured state of the art information systems, vehicle license plate identification systems, cashiered, pay-on-foot systems and smart meter systems.


Fast-forward 25 years to the second quarter of 2018.

Construction is nearly complete on another one of Dearborn’s newest parking garages! As design/build consultants to Devon Industrial Group of Detroit (DIG), Rich & Associates provided parking consulting, architectural and structural engineering design services for the second parking deck in Dearborn, MI. We are excited to be part of such a transformational project with Ford as they implement the modernization of their research and engineering corporate campus into a modern, green and high-tech campus!

Parking Deck Conceptual Design and Rendering by SmithGroupJJR

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