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Updated Campus Master Plan could postpone parking progress

The future of FGCU parking will be determined on Dec. 11.

The 2016-17 FGCU Capital Improvement Plan is requesting $53,000 to build three parking garage complexes. However, this year’s Campus Master Plan for 2015-25 is proposing to push those plans several years back.

The Board of Trustees will meet Dec. 11 to decide if the final draft of the Campus Master Plan update for 2015 — 2025 will be adopted or not.

“What’s going to happen is if the Board of Trustees adopts the master plan in December, the next time the CIP is updated, those requests will move further out,” said Tom Mayo, director of facilities planning. “I’m pretty sure we don’t want to take them completely off the CIP, we would probably just throw them back several years. The next time we update the CIP we will probably adjust that to move the parking garages out a few years.”

The Capital Improvement Plan is a five-year plan that handles the institutional budget requests for major projects, or projects that exceed $2 million, as well as providing a timetable for construction or completion. The FGCU CIP is updated on a yearly basis by that year’s updated Campus Master Plan, which is a component in the university’s planning process.

The current CIP is proposing three garage constructions — Garage 5, Garage 6 and Student Housing-Phase 14. Mayo said the specifics of these constructions have not been determined yet. However, he said a parking garage across from the Central Energy Plant in South Village has been mentioned as Garage A and a parking deck above the parking lot in front of the Athletics Center as well.
Mayo said the process of examining the parking issue to determine the plans for the CMP was a complex one. The evaluation of a professional was used, as well as the UPD reports on parking garage usage.

“We hired a transportation specialist for the master plan consultant process, which determined based on our reduced anticipated enrollment growth of two and a half quarter percent per year, when we look down five or 10 years, the need for building additional parking garages is greatly reduced with that reduced enrollment,” Mayo said.

UPD Chief Steven Moore said the review of available parking took place during the first two weeks of the fall semester and it was “simply monitored.”

Regarding this year’s parking, Moore said there hasn’t been any complaints about it.

“For this year, Garage 2 has never been full, and since the second week of school, the top two floors have been closed due to lack of need,” Moore said. “Therefore, we have a few hundred empty spaces at all times in Garage 2 and usually 50 percent of Lot 8 (located next to Garage 1) empty.”

Moore said parking this year in housing and the academic core has been consistent with last year.

Jasmyne White, a student who has lived two years in West Lake Village, recently got a ticket from UPD because she parked in a non-designated area for parking after not being able to find a spot.

“When I told my RA about the situation. He said that there are more students living in West Lake with cars than parking spots,” White said. “This isn’t the first time I’ve had an issue with UPD issuing tickets in WLV.”

Mayo said the information that the Office of Facilities Planning gathered and the conclusion that they made during the master plan process indicated that there is no need to build additional parking garages for day-to-day parking for the next 10 years.

“We certainly have a need to implement some transportation planning strategies within that 10 years, but one of those strategies is likely not at least on this master plan update adding new garages,” Mayo said.

However, Mayo said in the updated master plan, “(they) do call out the potential need of an elevated parking deck over athletics that we would call an event that would help us on event days but not for general day-to- day parking usage.”

About The Author

Jimena Tavel

Jimena Tavel is an international student from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She’s a sophomore pursuing a double major in journalism and communication, and a minor in French. Jimena is the news editor for Eagle News, and aspires to become a news anchor someday. Along with her passion for news, she also has a passion for good humor. She spends most of her spare time reading novels, trying new foods and training for her first marathon. If you ever plan a trip to Honduras, you should definitely get in touch with her! She recommends exploring her favorite island in the world – Roatán, and all that it has to offer.

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