New parking deck planned at Harrison and Cary streets

VCU is making many improvements to its Academic Campus to accommodate the increasing number of students that enter the university each year. One way VCU is expanding is by introducing a new parking deck for students, faculty and staff.

The Cary Street deck, which has been under construction since May 2003, will be situated at the intersection of Cary and Harrison Streets.

Completing the new deck will be a two-step process, said Brian Ohlinger, associate vice president of facilities management.

“The first step will be the completion of the surface parking lot which will hold the capacity of 250 vehicles,” he said. “This is expected to be completed and open by January 2004.”

The second step is building the deck’s additional levels, which are scheduled to be complete by April 2004. The parking deck will have four levels and will hold 730 vehicles.

“We’re very excited about the parking deck addition,” said Paul P. Jez, assistant vice president for business services. “It will give students more opportunity to park on campus.”

The new deck may also benefit residents of the Randolph, Fan, and Oregon Hill neighborhoods, which have limited on-street parking.

The new deck will not provide overnight parking for students living in on-campus housing. Currently the West Main Street, West Broad Street, and Bowe Street decks have overnight parking available for on-campus residents.

The estimated cost of the new parking facility is $9.7 million. Its funding will come primarily from user fees from the other parking decks that subscribers pay daily or per semester to park in.

“$2 million of the $9 million dollars of the project were from accumulated parking fee profits from previous years,” Jez said. “This was done to keep the rates down.”

The Cary Street deck will have the same amount of security as the other decks on the Academic Campus. It will have one or two security personnel on staff to observe the deck during all operating hours. The cost to maintain the security of the deck will come from the same funds used to build the deck.

The daily parking rate and the semester parking rate will be approximately $5 per day for the general public, $3 per day for students, faculty and staff and $140 per semester for students.

Torrance Seward, a junior business management major, said he thinks the new parking deck is a great idea.

“I have no problem with VCU building a new parking deck,” he said. “When it is complete, four to five times as many students will be able to park in the deck then were able to park before.”

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