Construction is Underway on a New Parking Structure at Soka University in Aliso Viejo

Aliso Viejo, Calif. – McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., one of Southern California’s preeminent parking structure and education facility builders, is constructing a new $11.5 million design-build parking structure at Soka University in Aliso Viejo, Calif.  Being built on an existing parking lot between the main entrance and the tennis courts on the Soka University campus, the 214,983-square-foot structure will provide 677 parking spaces for the school when complete in winter 2013.

McCarthy has partnered with Choate Parking Consultants of Irvine on the design and construction of the post-tensioned, cast-in-place concrete parking structure. Designed in harmony with the existing campus, the façade features painted plaster, architectural shapes along three sides and travertine stone bands around the elevator tower and windows.  The entrance to the elevators will be further complemented by natural stone tiles in the elevator lobbies at each level. In order to maintain the neighbors’ views of the surrounding canyon, the four-level parking structure has been lowered into the slope of the hillside along Wood Canyon Drive to minimize the structure’s height and visual impact.

“In order to lower the entire structure, we’ve installed a 700-foot long and 30-foot tall sculpted architectural finished structural shotcrete and soil nail retaining wall system along three sides of the project site,” said McCarthy Project Manager Jeff Craven.

Additional construction entails site improvements and connections to the campus utility systems and the addition of a traffic signal at the campus entrance. A storm water filtration and detention system has been installed, and the existing soccer field is being leveled and widened to better meet the needs of the university’s athletic program.

“Due to existing structures and topography of the site, the project is inaccessible from three sides posing unique challenges for our concrete placing operations as well as material deliveries,” explains Craven.  “To address this challenge, McCarthy designed a concrete pumping system that allows us to place the concrete in excess of 300 feet away from the entrance to the site.  In addition, McCarthy maintained a strict delivery schedule to coordinate all of the material deliveries while reducing construction traffic to adjoining streets.”

To minimize the environmental impact of the project, McCarthy is utilizing sustainable design and construction methods. Prior to the start of construction, six mature pine trees were salvaged from the existing parking lot and relocated onto the slope along the eastern property line of the project site. All of the storm-water collected from the parking structure will be filtered and detained on campus in an underground eight-foot diameter corrugated metal pipe before being released into the city storm drain system. In addition, approximately 25,000 cubic yards of soil were excavated for the parking structure and were retained on campus instead of being exported reducing the trucking impact on the local streets.  McCarthy also plans to recycle approximately 75 percent of all waste generated during the project, exceeding the city’s minimum construction waste recycling requirement of 50 percent.

The Soka University Parking Structure project is the second facility McCarthy has been hired to build at the Soka University of America campus in Aliso Viejo. The first was the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold Certified Soka Performing Arts Center, an adjacent academic building. The two-building $73 million project, which serves as a venue in South Orange County for concerts, theater productions, lectures, assemblies, classroom and office uses, opened in September 2011. For more information about Soka University, see

About McCarthy 

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the nation’s eighth largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2012) and Orange County’s largest commercial builder (Orange County Business Journal, June 2011). With nearly 150 years of experience, McCarthy is one of the nation’s oldest, privately held construction firms and the largest general building contractor in California (ENR California, August 2011).  In addition to Newport Beach, McCarthy has offices in San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Dallas; Houston; St. Louis; Collinsville, Ill.; and Atlanta.  McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information is available at


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