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The Science Museum of Virginia has completed construction on its new parking deck. The four-level structure has 400 spaces, 25 percent more than was previously available in the surface lots adjacent to Broad Street.
The deck has an elevator, high ceilings, wide spaces and parking on level grades. The linear traffic flow (one way in and one way out) and its location on the same side as the Science Museum create a safe experience for both drivers and pedestrians.
The parking deck is made of light-colored concrete, which can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the black asphalt on which vehicles previously parked.
In the coming months, the Science Museum will be adding six electric vehicle charging stations to the deck, expanding the number on campus to eight. The new stations are sponsored by CarMax.
The parking deck, which took a little more than a year to complete, is open for all Science Museum and Children’s Museum of Richmond guests, staff, event attendees, and visitors. All motorists will use the deck as the surface lot will be removed.
Museum goers may use the deck during operating hours and special events. Community members will not be able to enter the deck overnight.
The parking deck is located to the west of the Science Museum on the site of a former surface lot directly beside The Dome planetarium. Motorists may enter the deck two ways: from Broad Street by using the circular driveway that runs in front of the Science Museum and by turning off Terminal Drive and passing in front of the Children’s Museum of Richmond. Cars will exit the parking deck directly behind the Children’s Museum. There is no charge to park in the deck.
Up Next: Six-Acre Community Green Space on SMV Campus
The parking deck is a means to an exciting end for the Science Museum. Now that the deck is open, the Science Museum will immediately start reclaiming two acres of asphalt surface lot where vehicles previously parked. This is the next step in creating a nearly six-acre public green space called The Green.
The development of The Green aligns with the Richmond 300 development plan, which prioritizes green infrastructure for Scott’s Addition and the adjacent neighborhoods. Scott’s Addition is one of the fastest growing high-density, mixed-use neighborhoods in Richmond, but it has one of the lowest levels of urban tree cover.
The Green will help reduce the urban heat island effect by removing dark, heat-absorbing paved surfaces and increasing vegetation. The Green incorporates 100 percent Virginia native plants and trees. More than 70 percent of the species are listed as native to the Richmond region in the “Native Plants for Virginia’s Capital Region” planting guide. The remaining species were chosen to highlight iconic Virginia plants that may become more common in our region in the future due to our changing climate.
In addition, The Green offers the community a park-like space for recreation such as walking, relaxing and gathering, which promotes the scientifically proven physical and mental health benefits of natural spaces.