Big changes in store for Downtown parking garage

The Downtown parking garage has a fresh, colorful look now that about a dozen banners are hanging along the Circle Avenue side.

More will be added on Division Street, to enliven the building.

“It really does brighten it up. It catches your eye. One person told me it gave them chills, that they were so excited to see them. It brightens the whole downtown and the wrap that will go all around the parking garage will brighten it even more,” Amanda Pollack, Director of Infrastructure and Development for the city, said.

The wrap, which came in under budget, at $93,000, will be installed by Signature Graphics Inc. in Porter, Ind.

The building will be power washed, then wrapped next month.

Banners and the wrap are part of an upgrade that also includes structural improvements inside.

“We’re working on up-lighting and other lighting improvements, on landscaping and on the food truck pads next to the garage, but that will come later. The banners are up and the wrap will get done before the National Folk Festival,” Pollack said.

Banners feature the city’s signature colors of blue, orange and green and words that represent city offerings, such as Riverwalk, Recreation and Downtown.

“All the white concrete will be wrapped. It will all have color so it will pop out instead of blending into the background,” Pollack said.

The National Folk Festival will be Downtown Sept. 7, 8 and 9, with continuous music on six stages, a dance pavilion, traditional crafts, regional food, storytelling, parades and folklife demonstrations.

Built in 1976 and expanded in 2002, the four-level, 700-space, garage will also receive structural improvements costing about $400,000 in the current fiscal year and including replacement of bearing pads, where parking garage levels rest on each other, and replacement of surfaces between levels.

The next phase, scheduled for FY20 or later, will involve concrete repairs and waterproofing. During the third and final phase, non-structural improvements will be made, such as new railings inside.

“For the banners, we have $20,000 in FY18.  For the structural repairs, we have $400,000 in the FY19 budget and have programmed the next phase in the Capital Improvement Plan for $600,000 in FY20.  The final phase from the structural study is programed for FY21 and includes waterproofing and non-structural repairs such as the new railings at a cost of $180,000,” Pollack said.

“The parking garage is dated,” Mayor Jake Day said.

“That’s why it’s getting structural improvements and cosmetic improvements.

“The big and important part of it — I mean big physically from its location and the purpose it serves — is facing our new Town Square. It’s going to be critical and it will be less of an eyesore and more of an asset,” he said.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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