Although construction on the new East Garage is scheduled for March 1, re-designation and removal of some 360 parking bays started a week ago.
According to Business Auxiliary Services (BAS), approximately 300 student bays, along with 60 Faculty B parking bays, were lost in the preparation. Faculty A parking spaces, though relocated, have not been removed.
The limited parking will last until July 2012, at which time the new, 1,200-space garage should be complete. The garage will house faculty, staff and student parking, along with paid daily visitor and special event parking.
The East Garage will be home to a new customer service center, coffee kiosk, a “spirit shop,” Visitor Center and the Alumni Center.
Erika Esquivel, senior kinesiology major, worries that the new parking restrictions will further hinder the already limited parking for students. Though she would usually park in lot eight, the change in parking bay designation forced her to park out on the street.
Other students, who would normally be able to park within walking distance of their classes were forced out to lots 11 and 13.
When Patricia Wilson, a student working towards her physician’s assistant certification, was asked what she thought of the parking, she simply responded, “Oh my God!” She went on to say that, though parking is not too difficult to find early in the morning, on days when she has a later start, parking is nearly impossible to find.
Ariel Armendariz, junior history major, agreed, stating that Tuesdays and Thursdays, when her classes don’t begin until 11 a.m., parking is horrible.
For some commuter students, however, the new parking situation creates no additional burden.
“I park out by The Paisano office and I walk pretty much as far as if I had a parking permit,” said Brianna Roberts, junior sociology major.
Eileen Achorn, a Psychology and Statistics faculty member since 1989 bought a Faculty B parking pass at the beginning of the school year. She found out about the planned construction through the school website.
“One of my office mates called asking if they were going to send out an email giving a chance to upgrade. They said, ‘no,'” Achorn said.
She said that though the option to upgrade was available, BAS was just not going to inform the faculty of such.
Achorn fears that the move to more covered and less ground parking is part of an overall university scheme to force faculty and students to pay the significantly increased fees of covered parking.
Looking out across the parking lot, Achorn comments, “there are three rows of open As. Where are we going? I’m parking in the closest student parking I can find.”