College services kickoff learns details of vanpooling

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Dr. Lisa Alcorta, vice president of student success, discusses the importance of staff and faculty interaction with both transfer and returning students during the Student Success Kickoff at the Victory Center Jan. 17. Other points discussed included further implementation of vanpooling among staff and faculty with VIA and improving overall student enrollment. Mitchell Gawlik

VIA will help provide transportation to ease the parking situation.

By James Russell

VIA Metropolitan Transit will offer vanpooling and other services to “counteract the loss of parking spaces this semester,” President Robert Vela said Jan. 17 at the kick-off meeting of the college services division.

The vanpooling service is planned for faculty and staff.

Faculty and staff who live near each other will meet at a central location such as an H-E-B, Janae Johnson, risk management coordinator, said in an interview Jan. 22. Passengers would form groups of four-15 passengers and board a van or a sports utility vehicle.

To use the vanpooling service, passengers will rotate driving the vehicle daily or weekly. The vans will be returned to the center point at the end of the day.

The cost range of the vanpool for residents of Bexar County is $50-$150, but during the construction of a third parking garage, this college will cover the costs for vanpooling.

Because of the construction, this college will lose parking Lots 20, 21, 22 and 29. The lots will be converted into streets connecting to the parking garage.

Janae Johnson, college risk management coordinator, discusses major changes during contruction on this campus during the Student Success Kickoff at the Victory Center Jan. 17. Johnson also discussed how staff and faculty may take advantage of VIA’s vanpooling system as a means to combat the decrease in parking spaces. Mitchell Gawlik

In this area, the college plans building for early childhood studies and center with a playground as well as a campus police dispatch, additional housing and a space for Micronauts attached to the early childhood center.

Micronauts is a program for students entering kindergarten to learn about science and space.

“The new facility will be able to do more for students in the programs than they have been in the past,” said Richard Varner, director of Scobee Education Center, in an interview Jan. 23.

Construction of the five-level parking garage will take between 18-24 months to complete, Johnson said.

In an interview Jan. 17, Johnson, spoke about the vanpooling service and how convenient it could be.

“It is an option,” Johnson said. “It would be one van compared to 10 cars helping faculty get around. I don’t know how many would sign up, but once we see how many do sign up I’d like to start with one or three vans to help fight the loss of parking spots.”

VIA is partnered with Enterprise, a car rental firm, and will issue the vans, Vela said.

Johnson said a shuttle service for students is being planned.

The college would pay for the shuttle service, which would be making trips back and forth from campus to a drop-off area every 15-20 minutes.

For more information on vanpooling, go to Room 212 in Fletcher Administration Center.

For additional information, call Johnson at 210-486-0902.


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