All-Precast Concrete Delivers on Price, Schedule and Aesthetics for New Parking Deck at James Madison University

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Five-level structure accommodates 1,000 vehicles and serves as gateway to new northern end of campus.

Mason Street Parking Deck at James Madison University

The all-weather erection process made possible with precast did not require accommodations for freezing temperatures, precipitation, curing time, or excessive wind bracing/shoring.

PCI Mid-Atlantic (PCI-MA) recently announced the completion of another large-scale university construction project by one of its members, Metromont Corporation. The Greenville, SC-based company was selected as precast producer for The Mason Street Parking Deck – one of the latest development projects to support campus growth at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.

About the Mason Street Parking Deck
The Mason Street Parking Deck is a five-level, freestanding structure located at the northern end of campus, where a new partnership with a local hotelier, plus the university’s acquisition of a former hospital property, sparked the need for additional parking for 1,000 vehicles.

To gain economic efficiencies and accommodate an aggressive schedule tied to the university’s academic calendar, construction of the parking deck was completed using a design-build project delivery. The design-build approach allowed for early collaboration between the university and project designers, Metromont, and the builder. The use of an all-precast solution was immediately attractive to the design-build team that was chosen for the project.

The All-Precast Solution– Delivering On Price, Schedule, Aesthetics
The use of precast concrete in parking deck construction is often the material of choice for many reasons. For the Mason Street project, precast was used to meet several key performance goals including cost savings, accelerated construction schedule, and aesthetic versatility.

Cost Savings
Like most large-scale construction projects, economy was a key driver for the university. The design-build procurement process was cost-competitive, as was the mass production capabilities of precast concrete. The precast solution also consolidated structural frame, vertical circulation elements, functional floor, and exterior cladding into a single system with proven, significant economic benefits. BIM engineering and Metromont’s early involvement in the design process also allowed the team to maximize economy during the preliminary stages of the project.

Accelerated Construction
Closely related to cost concerns was the project’s non-negotiable completion date, which was driven by the need for 1,000 new parking spaces by the start of the academic year. BIM design and manufacturing of precast components allowed for an early fabrication start prior to permitting. The “head start” allowed by BIM engineering, coupled with precast’s offsite pre-production, just-in-time delivery, minimal erection bracing, and all-weather installation facilitated the fast-track construction, which spanned over winter months. The all-weather erection process made possible with precast did not require accommodations for freezing temperatures, precipitation, curing time, or excessive wind bracing/shoring.

Aesthetic Versatility
Another critical requirement of the Mason Street project was to transcend the typical parking deck aesthetic and integrate the university’s architectural character throughout the structure. The use of precast elements made that possible. By incorporating key design motifs and materials that are prevalent elsewhere on campus, the parking deck became an extension of the university’s historic brand and serves as a gateway structure to the rest of the campus. The circulation towers located at each corner of the parking deck feature the campus aesthetic of bluestone veneer and pitched red tile roof, and precast exterior cladding elements like wall panels and spandrels produced design consistency through the factory-controlled precast manufacturing process. Decorative precast entries delivered additional consistency in color and texture to the structure.

The Mason Street Parking Deck was completed within the university’s budget and delivered ahead of schedule – two weeks prior to scheduled occupancy. For staff, students and visitors, the superstructure provides a seamless flow to and from the northern end of campus – and will continue to do so for decades.

Click Here to view the full project profile for The Mason Street Parking Deck project profile.

Location: Harrisonburg, VA
Owner: James Madison University
Architect: Glave & Holmes Architecture
Engineer of Record: Walker Parking Consultants
Contractor: Donley’s, LLC
Precast Specialty Engineer: PTAC Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Precaster: Metromont Corporation
PCI Certified Erector: DLM Contractors, LLC
Specialty Architectural Precaster: Seaboard Concrete
Square Footage: 307,000 SF
Freestanding, 5-level parking structure

PCI Mid-Atlantic is a chapter of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI). Founded in 1954, The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) is the technical institute for the precast concrete structures industry. PCI develops, maintains, and disseminates the body of knowledge for designing, fabricating, and constructing precast concrete structures. PCI provides technical resources, certification for companies and individuals, continuing education, as well as conducts research and development projects, conventions, conferences, awards programs and much more. PCI members include precast concrete manufacturers, companies that provide products and services to the industry, precast concrete erectors, and individual members such as architects, consultants, contractors, developers, educators, engineers, materials suppliers, service providers, and students. To learn more, visit or PCI Mid-Atlantic’s (formerly MAPA) website at

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Kae G. Wagner
+1 (717) 392-6982 Ext: 1
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Tom Holmes
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