Parking Addressed at Board Meeting

Helen Galvin
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Robert K. Holmes changed the course of the Board of Trustees agenda on Oct. 15 by starting a floor discussion prior to the vote on the approval of an agreement with International Parking Design to draw up plans for additional campus parking.

The cost for the Parking Options planning phase of the Facilities Master Plan would be $30,200.

Jim Spencer, of Spencer/Hoskins Associates, gave an in-depth 20-minute presentation on the Facilities Master Plan. The 1992 Master Plan, based on an estimated student growth to 20,000 students (enrollment this year is about 17,000), includes a proposed Allied Health/Aviation Arts building and a Physical Education Complex. Expansion of the Auditorium to add classrooms is still waiting for funds. Spencer’s presentation included adding new classrooms and labs to new and existing buildings.

But Board Chairman Holmes was skeptical about proceeding with the plan, and suggested that with more than 10 percent student growth this semester, the campus has grown as much as it can. “I think we are maxed out,” Holmes said.
In his presentation, Spencer focused on parking structure options. The best-case scenario is to build a two-story parking structure beneath the football practice field, a project that would cost about $17 million.

Holmes said GCC would never have that money.

Dr. Armine Hacopian questioned the board about what an affirmative vote on this issue meant. She was told that an affirmative vote would mandate International Parking Design to draw up plans and a cost analysis report for a new parking lot.

“I don’t want to spend money and time talking about building a structure under the football field,” Holmes said. “We’re never going to do that and the city isn’t going to approve it.”
“That is one plan that the city favors,” countered GCC President John A. Davitt.

Board member Mary N. Hamilton said that funds were available in the capital outlay budget, and the board also discussed a possible bond measure to cover the costs.

“More parking alone is not going to pass on a bond measure,” Hamilton said. “I’m willing to stop right here unless we can come up with a way to go ahead with the bond or until we can figure out where we are going to get the money to build [the parking structure],” he said.

The board tabled further action on the parking structure proposal.

After the meeting, Holmes explained why he called for more discussion on the master plan. “I think we are getting too big now,” he said. “Growing is okay but only if you grow smartly and successfully.”