When architects go public with their plans for a new Boise State University Fine Arts Building, one question will most certainly surface: Where will the parking go?
Developers say the proposed building, which would face Capitol Boulevard, would be between the Micron Business and Economics Building and the Barnes Towers dormitory along the Boise Greenbelt, would eliminate approximately 328 parking spaces. Meanwhile, Boise State officials insist they have plenty of spaces to take accommodate students, faculty and staff. Currently, Boise State owns/operates 6,780 parking spaces and during peak hours of operation (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), there is an estimated average of 1,100 empty spaces, according to Boise State officials. Additionally, according to the university's vehicle parking standard, there should be parking spaces for at least 80 percent of faculty and 30 percent of full-time students. When putting those percentages next to the 2014-2015 census of faculty and staff, it equates to 5,213 spaces.
The proposed designs for the Fine Arts Building require height and setback exceptions from the city of Boise. The city's height limit on the site is 75 feet, but developers point to the Micron building, which is more than 84 feet tall. Developers said they want a more uniform look for the buildings when they move forward with their plans, which include a large corner window on the southeast side of the building and another expanse of glass on the north where views into the gallery will be seen from southbound traffic on Capitol Boulevard.
"The upper slender section is filled with glass from floor to ceiling that is set back to control western sunlight," wrote Scott Henson of LCA Architects. "During the day on the interior of the building, this area is used for a gathering and critique area for students on all levels. At night, it will become a beacon for the arts on campus with light flowing out onto Capitol Boulevard."
The Boise Planning and Zoning Commission will get a closer look at the plans during its Monday, Oct. 12 session.