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Vancouver campus adds parking spaces

With the ever-growing student body and the large amount of classes in session between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., there is frequently a shortage of spaces in the parking lots. One student at Washington State University Vancouver said that the one thing that could be improved upon was parking. This student said that there are times within the day where “there is no parking anywhere,” The student also said, “I understand they are doing as much as they can,” but still hoped that parking can be improved upon.

According to Lynn Valenter, vice chancellor for finance and operations, there are currently plans underway to add additional parking to the WSU Vancouver campus. Valenter says that these plans will be presented to the Board of Regents this December, WSU’s formal governance that is responsible for “providing executive oversight and accountability” for Washington state and other stakeholders. Until the board approves these plans, Valenter and the other affiliated parties will focus on preparation and planning. Valenter said that the Board of Regents has by-laws in place that make it so all non-emergency issues require “approval to go through committees for review” before the issue is presented to be formally approved. Valenter said “Part of the reason for the length of time the process will take is because the total project budget exceeds on $1 million.” While it is uncertain how long the process will take, Valenter hopes that construction can begin late next spring, if not pushed towards the summer, planning on the parking spots to be implemented around fall of 2015.

There are many who are involved or helping in the construction and implementation of new parking lots. Valenter said that she works with the other WSU campuses in order to determine the funding sources, such as Lieutenant Dave Stephenson, the administrator responsible for parking operations. The two of them “collaborated on a review of current capacity and projected future demand” which was all based on reasonable forecasts. Jessie Steiger is working with an engineering design firm to design and create a budget for this project. Clark County is also involved in the project, they are overseeing the on-campus construction.

Valenter said “There would not be an increase in tuition” because of this project, since parking is a self-sustained operation. Valenter says “We have been accumulating a reserve from parking fees” and that almost all of the funds that were anticipated on being spent for this project have been saved over the last 15 years. One thing that Valenter did want to clarify is that while there will be no increase in tuition, there may be an increase in parking permit fees in order to be consistent with the Board of Regents direction. She also said that usually the increase in price is no more than between one and three percent.

Valenter would like students to know is that while the finalized amount of parking spaces to be added has yet to be determined, there is an anticipated amount of around 250-300 spaces. She said, “Part of the parking will be adding a forty space parking lot that was previously designed but not implemented.” These parking spots are planned to be added at the end of the blue lot and on the outside of the north loop heading up towards the campus.

 

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