Lofts tenant parking in college garage

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Ticketing for parking violations begins Oct. 1.

By Katherine Garcia

kgarcia203@student.alamo.edu

Police will begin ticketing vehicles in campus lots Oct. 1 if they do not have parking permits or are parked illegally.

“We do that so people have plenty of time to get their decals,” Police Chief Don Adams said.

All students pay a campus access fee of $25 per semester, which gives them two options: They can receive up to two parking decals or receive a free VIA Metropolitan transit bus pass from the business office in Fletcher Administration Center.

As of Sept. 13, 17,434 parking decals have been mailed, and as of Thursday, 1,018 bus passes have been requested, assistant bursar Michelle Gable said Thursday.

Students who don’t get a parking or bus pass don’t get a refund, said Tim Rockey, dean of continuing education and workforce development.

“You pay the one fee. That way everyone’s granted access to the campus and all its resources,” he said.

Officials do not agree on how the fee will be used to enhance access for students.

Revenue from the parking permit fee increases access for all students, John Strybos, associate vice chancellor of facilities, told The Ranger Sept. 10. For example, he said funds can be used to support online classes or increase the library’s database collection.

According to http://www.alamo.edu/sac/parking-permits/, however, “revenue generated is dedicated to parking facilities, construction and maintenance, and at board option, excess fees may be designated for student scholarship funds.”

In presenting the proposed fee to Alamo Colleges trustees May 14, Diane Snyder, vice chancellor of for finance and administration, said the fee would be used for paying debt service on district parking garages and repairing parking lots and roadways.

Even though students are required to pay the $25 fee, parking in the college’s garage will require an additional $1 each time they exit likely beginning in the spring semester after gates at entrances are installed and functioning.

Rockey said the garage gates should be completed by mid-October with winter break being the latest completion deadline.

Administrators with reserved parking in the garage pay $150 in addition to the $50 campus parking permit.

Student garage parking permits are not available and won’t be, said public information officer Julie Cooper.

When students or employees enter the garage, they will receive a ticket from a kiosk by the gate. When they leave, they must return the ticket and pay $1.

Drivers must pay the fee every time they exit the garage. Cash, credit or debit are accepted. The unmanned kiosks will be emptied of cash daily to prevent theft.

According to a minute order during the May 14 Building, Grounds and Sites Selection Committee meeting, $480,755 was awarded to Kratos Public Safety and Security Solutions to purchase and install “barrier gates, concrete islands, bollards, and the call stations/payment stations enabling the controlled access and collection of fees.”

Sensor loops and “lot full” signs will be installed to monitor the number of parking spaces available.

The Tobin Lofts garage under construction at North Main Avenue and Evergreen Street will be completed in February, Rockey said, and the latest date of completion is April 1. The garage will have an estimated 950 spaces with up to 550 spaces reserved for Tobin Lofts residents.

Student parking is left with 400 spots. This number may change depending on the number of residents purchasing decals, Strybos said.

Until the new garage opens, parking is reserved for Tobin Lofts residents on the second floor of the college garage. Administration and handicap parking have reserved spaces on the first floor, and students can park on the remaining spaces in the first, third and fourth floors.

Tobin Lofts residents can purchase a $200 overnight parking pass that is good for a year and they are exempt from the $1 exit fee.

Space may be designated on additional floors as more residents move in, Strybos said.

Every resident with a parking decal is guaranteed a spot in the garage, he added.

The garage has 1,050 spaces and four floors, and 130 students have purchased the $200 parking permit out of 261 residents living at Tobin Lofts.

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