In celebration of the 20 percent increase in parking on campus, President Shalala, along with the department of Parking, held a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Pavia Garage on Friday.
The event served as the official inauguration for all of the parking improvements around campus: the new Pavia commuter lot, located opposite the Daystar Health Center, and the Mahoney/ Pearson residential lot, adjacent to the residence hall, as well as the two new floors being added to the Ponce de Leon garage and additional perimeter parking spaces along San Amaro Drive.
“The scope of this project takes a tremendous amount of work,” said Chuck McConnell, Director of Parking. “Many separate departments throughout the University have worked together with the City of Coral Gables to make our parking plans a reality.”
The Parking Management and Parking Implementation committees, which are both made up of faculty, staff and students, were responsible for the new garages.
“From thoughts to paper to brick, the new garages represent a team effort amongst the entire university community,” said Alan Fish, Associate VP of Business Services.
The two new garages have added approximately 1188 additional parking spaces. They are both 24-hour high-security facilities equipped with closed circuit television monitors, information booths and blue light emergency telephones, according to the Parking Management Committee.
These new garages will improve parking on the core of the campus for faculty, staff and students and provide needed parking for visitors to the campus. The location will improve parking for School of Business and Student Union customers and will indirectly improve parking in the Allen Hall parking lot, organizers said.
“I think the new Pavia lot is a great idea,” said Sam Havener, commuter student. “I like the fact that the spaces are a nice size; I can actually get my truck in there.”
As part of the inauguration of the Pavia garage, President Shalala gave a speech in which she mentioned how thrilled she was that she has received many compliments concerning the new parking facilities on campus.
Student government President Mike Johnston thanked all those involved in the implementation of the garages and acknowledged the fact that the student body was collectively pleased with the improvements and with the fact that steps were taken to alleviate concerns over parking issues.
“The response has been great from employees, students and visitors to the University,” Sandra Redway, Associate Director of business services, said. “Everyone seems very pleased with the improvements we’ve made.”
“The addition of these new garages is just another indication of the dedication of the University to the needs of our students and community,” Fish said.
“I remember that parking was always an issue,” said Juan Rodriguez, a former student of the University. “I remember student government would always talk about fixing the problem, but nothing much ever really happened.”
“I wish I was still a student. I’d park at a different garage every day of the week,” Rodriguez said.
Construction on the Ponce de Leon garage continues as two additional floors are being added. Once completed, the entire Ponce Garage will be converted from standard to discount pricing, as will the existing Scodella lot.