Lone Star College creating additional "green" space at LSC-University Park

Published on: August 29, 2011

HOUSTON (Aug. 29, 2011) – Two buildings on the Lone Star College-University Park campus will be imploded on Sept. 18 and the site returned to usable green space.
 
The buildings and adjacent property were acquired by Lone Star College System from Hewlett-Packard late last year as part of the college’s goal to create additional parking in an existing garage. The property is part of the campus located at State Highway 249 and Louetta Road.

LSCS purchased the land and the parking garage for $12.6 million. The garage, with 1,200 parking spaces, would have cost about $12 million to build in today’s market – nearly the same price that LSCS paid for the entire real estate package. The sale also included acquisition of a 6,500-ton central chiller plant that will continue to service the LSCS campus.

“This was a great purchase for Lone Star College and a great value for the money,” said Jimmy Martin, LSCS associate vice chancellor for facilities planning and construction. “For the same cost as building needed parking capacity, Lone Star College was able to acquire the necessary parking, 21 acres of property and a central plant facility.”

As part of the acquisition, Hewlett Packard will manage the demolition of the two buildings, returning the property to usable green space.

In conjunction with project contractors, it was determined that imploding the buildings would be more time-efficient and cost effective than a traditional wrecking-ball demolition. A wrecking-ball crew would have spent six to eight weeks to knock the buildings down and another four to six weeks to remove the materials. An implosion will take about 15 seconds, then about four to six weeks for removing materials.

During the demolition, the impact to the community and its residents will be carefully managed so disruption is minimized.

An implosion is a controlled demolition that involves detonating small explosives in strategic spots in a building to cause the structure to collapse inwardly. This method helps restrict any impact to surrounding areas.

In advance of the implosion, the project contractor is removing drywall and other dust-causing materials from the building to reduce potential dust when the buildings are brought down. The process will not require closure of any major roads surrounding the LSC-University Park campus.

“The cost to properly maintain the buildings in a ‘mothball’ state until they might have been needed in the future is $1.25 million annually. It was more cost-effective to have the contractor tear the buildings down as part of the purchase agreement,” Martin said.

MEDIA ADVISORY – There will not be any public viewing areas available for the implosion event due to the design of the campus. Lone Star College System will accommodate media interested in filming or observing the implosion event from a safe location overlooking the building site.  Contact Jed Young at LSCS to schedule viewing accommodations.

With more than 69,000 students in credit classes for spring 2011, and a total enrollment of more than 85,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, and the fastest-growing community college system in Texas. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Park, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.

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