By: Taylor Lewis
On Tuesday, the parking garage design-build team selection committee selected an architecture firm, responsible for designing the new parking garage on the Oxford Square, after a series of interviews.
Dr. Tom Sharpe, chair of the downtown parking garage design team selection committee, along with the rest of the committee, heard presentations from four architecture firms.
“The team we went with is Eley, Guild, and Hardy. They clearly had the most garage-design experience of the teams,” Sharpe said.
The committee relayed their recommendation to the board of aldermen for their consideration later that day.
The four firms that presented to the committee were Eley, Guild, and Hardy; Cooke, Douglass, Farr and Lemons; Howorth and Associates; and A2H.
“We were looking for an architect team that would work with the city to design a parking garage that would then be bid out to a construction company to construct,” Sharpe said.
The new parking garage will be located on the parking lot located behind Bouré and will begin construction before the end of this year.
“The major impact is that the off street parking in the off street lots is at capacity so this will allow us to relieve that strain,” Sharpe said.
Matt Davis, director of parking, said that the purpose of the design team is to design the most appropriate and cost efficient parking garage for the downtown area.
Each firm was given an hour to present to the committee. The committee then ranked the four firms based on their presentations.
Taylor Guild III, principal at Eley, Guild, and Hardy, described several strengths of his firm during his presentation.
“Our team strength is our expertise of planning and parking structures both nationally and locally,” Guild said.
Taylor Guild described the firm’s past performance as a team, its design awards, and experience as reasons for the committee to choose Elley, Guild and Hardy.
Eley, Guild, and Hardy have designed several other structures around the University of Mississippi, including the new law school and the additions to Farley Hall and the Lyceum.
“We understand the volume of people and the area surrounding the square,” Guild said.
Cooke, Douglass, Farr and Lemons, commonly known as CDFL, were another firm that presented and also had prior experience with the University of Mississippi architecture. CDFL is currently working on a similar facility at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi.
Robert Farr III, principal at CDFL, said that the collaborative practice of their engineering and architecture firm is apart their growth, along with listening to the public.
“We look at the end user and people and what is going to be the best level of service for all users,” Farr said. “It’s about how we listen to the community and take their ideas and concepts into account when creating this structure.”
Mike Ortlieb, executive vice president of the Carl-Walker firm that is partnering with Eley, Guild, and Hardy, agreed with Farr and said that the new parking garage needs to fit in with a community as well as the neighbors and pedestrians
“My experience with parking is that it is a 60 year commitment and if you put a structure there you want to do it right because it will be there for a long time,” Ortlieb said.
Having decided on a design team, Sharpe described some of the next steps in this process.
“The first step we’ve already taken. I presented our recommendation to the board of aldermen this evening and the board of aldermen approved our recommendation of that team and approved the city engineer to begin negotiating a contract with the design team,” Sharpe said.
Matt Davis, director of parking
Dr. Tom Sharpe
(Chair of the downtown parking garage design team selection committee)
Taylor Guild III, AIA
(Elley, Guild, Hardy)
(Carl Walker Inc.)
Robert E. Farr, II.