Parking Structure Opens to Mixed Reviews

Sarah Elkeaikati

With the greatly anticipated opening of the new parking structure at the beginning of the semester, hopes ran high for what this new addition to Glendale Community College would bring.

This $26-million project, which includes a total of 1,185 parking stalls, adding a net increase of 700 spaces, brought about the prospects of better parking.

And according to parking surveys done by campus police, there is parking available for students at any time of day.

“Parking seems a lot easier this semester,” said Nonia Zargarian, psychology major. “There are always open spots, even if they are not the closest to campus.”

Although the college is providing a shuttle to transport students from the new parking structure to campus it is uncertain how long this service will be available.

According to Director of Business Services Bill Taylor, a meeting regarding the shuttles will be held in about a week to determine how long they will be available. The transportation service is costing the college $4,500 per week and its fate will be determined by the number of riders making use of it.

Despite the obvious increase in parking availability, the structure lacks a couple of necessities, according to some students. The ongoing construction on Mountain Street, which should be complete by late October to early November has limited the structure to a one-way entry.

After the construction is completed, the structure will have one entry and one exit on Mountain Avenue where a left and right turn will be allowed. Also, the entrance off of Verdugo Road and Towne Avenue will remain usable.

Additionally, the elevators in the structure, as well as those in the freestanding tower are not yet completed. Taylor noted that the structure elevators should be done by Nov. 1 and those in the freestanding tower should be ready Dec. 1.

“I haven’t [parked in the new structure] because I heard the elevators are not working and the first and second levels were reserved for faculty,” said Norris Youkhana, business major.

Other available parking lots remained packed with students, which may be due to the increase in enrollment this semester.

According to Taylor, there has been a 5.7 percent increase in head count and a 3.8 percent increase in full-time students.

“The parking lots still seem to be very crowded,” said Arman Soleimani, business major. “I feel like it’s the same as every other semester.”

In response to students’ frustrations, Taylor stated “Students may not be aware of the other parking locations such as the lots across the street on Verdugo Road.”

Although some students are still unhappy with parking, others felt that the college was not responsible for the continuing problem.

“There are open spaces but students are accustomed to parking as close as they can and the only way to find a space instantly is at the very top level of the new structure, which has a lot of disadvantages, like the stairs,” said Political Science major Pargev Jerejian.

The completion of the elevators as well as the construction on Mountain street may provide a better parking situation and a happier student body.