Master Plan: parking lots and parking garages

The University of West Florida is growing and changing in many different ways, from the number of students, to the activities on campus, but the one thing that hasn’t changed, is that students are still complaining about the number of parking spaces that are available on campus. In UWF’s ten year master plan the school is planning on adding six parking garages in order to increase the number of parking spaces on campus.

“Currently, there are 5,800 parking spaces on campus,” said Chip Chism manager of the Parking and Transportation services.

Many students who commute complain about finding a good place to park on campus, and if they park illegally they complain about having to pay the fee for the offense.

“I think they (parking officials) should be a little bit more lenient on the ticket giving,” said Becca Hill, a sophomore chemistry and pre-med major. “Especially when it’s time for classes to start and people are running late, and can’t find a parking space, so they’re going to park wherever they can find a parking spot.

“I know that a lot of students try to park close to their classes, but when I walk through the parking lots between classes I hardly see an open spot unless it is faculty and staff parking,” Hill added. “I know a lot of resident parking spots stay empty most of the time. Those empty spots could be used for commuters because the commuter spots fill up pretty fast.”

Not all of the spaces are being used and students are still complaining.

Chism also has a bet for any student that has a problem finding a spot to park on campus.

“I have a standing  bet with anyone, and you can put this on your blog,, if there’s ever a time I can’t find the person making  that claim  a place to park on this campus, I’ll take them to lunch anywhere in the state of Florida, because we simply have more parking then we need right now,” said  Chism.  “It’s just it isn’t where people want it to be.”

The University of West Florida is going to build six parking garages to help with student parking because of the increase in the number of students. The parking garage will be built over the next 10 years.  The parking garages will be located in popular sections on campus.

Many students are in favor of having parking garages added in the future.

“I do believe that it would help,” said Tanner Hetherington, a sophomore marine biology major. “Yeah, I think it would make it more convenient for most people, faculty and students alike.”

It would cost millions of dollars and would take years to build. To get funding to build would mean that the money would have to come from the students’ pockets in the form of paying more for parking passes and ticket offenses.

One student agrees on building a parking garage but is worried about our wild life.

“One of the things we brand ourselves as is a wildlife preservation and I feel like if we tear it down to build a parking garage  then we either should not build it or we shouldn’t call ourselves a wildlife preservation because obviously it’s not high on our agenda,” said  Joe Napier, a  junior  public relations major.

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