Vulcan parking garage to see repairs


Joe Donatucci

Aerial view of the unused Vulcan Parking Garage on Cal U’s campus.

Kaitlyn Collins, Staff Writer

After about four years of being shut down due to safety hazards, the Vulcan Parking Garage is finally set to start undergoing repairs. Some students and faculty look forward to seeing how they will benefit from this, and how it will help to solve some of Cal U’s parking problems.

The Vulcan Parking Garage opened in 2010 and closed down in 2016 after it partially collapsed. This incident resulted in no injuries or damages to any of the surrounding vehicles. However, Cal U decided to close it due to it being a safety hazard. More hazards were found after later inspection. The garage has been empty and unused ever since.

“The parking garage collapse happened during move-in day in the fall of 2016,” said Seth Shiley, graduate student. “I was a freshman and that was my first experience with Cal U. Having to move all of the cars out was absolute chaos.”

Shiley, former Student Government Association president, received several complaints by students over the years about the condition of the parking garage.

“It was the number one question students always asked about,” said Shiley. “Given the lack of parking on campus, it was utilized frequently by off-campus students, parents and friends traveling to campus.”

Some students feel like Cal U has several parking issues that go beyond the parking garage. Those would include the overselling of parking passes for the River Lot and the few number of timed parking spots for visitors. Some students believe that the repaired parking garage will help to solve some of these problems.

“I do think Cal has a few parking problems. One that I’ve noticed is sometimes when there are events going on they will ask students who pay for parking to move their cars to the River Lot, or somewhere else. Not only is this unfair because they are not able to use the lot they paid to park in, but it creates a shortage of parking in the River Lot,” said Joe Donatucci, a junior at Cal U. “I think more parking spaces would be a welcome addition to Cal, and I think we would benefit from more temporary metered parking.”

Students and faculty who will park in the garage will have a short walk to campus buildings like the Manderino Library, Duda Hall, Herron Hall and more.

“The parking garage was extremely convenient for students given its proximity to the Natali Student Center, Carter Hall and Smith Hall,” Shiley said. “Additionally, hourly parking is not abundant on campus so this will allow students from Vulcan Village and parents to have a place to park without worry of a ticket.”

Donatucci also feels like the parking lot will be a convenient parking option for students in the residence halls.

“I think the parking garage will benefit many students,” said Donatucci. “When I lived on campus I stayed in Johnson Hall and Carter Hall. An issue I had was there not really being any close parking to those buildings except for Lot 19, which doesn’t have many spaces available. I think the parking garage would offer close and abundant parking to students, especially the ones living in those buildings.”

Faculty and staff who work in the buildings near the parking garage will have a shorter, more convenient walk to their offices and classrooms.

“I used to park in the garage when it was open,” said professor Sarah Downey. “Now I park in the River Lot or on the residential streets south of campus.”

Both locations are not too close to her office in Azorsky Hall. She said that once the garage is repaired it will benefit her and the other faculty members working in Azorsky Hall, or other nearby buildings.

“It will be a faster walk to the office, so I will be less cold on cooler days and less wet when it’s raining,” said Downey. “It’s not a huge difference for me personally, but some faculty and students have mobility issues which means that being able to park closer makes a big difference.”

Although the parking garage will be more convenient in location, it may not be as convenient as some of the other lots in price.

“The cost of a garage permit will probably be higher than the cost of a River Lot permit, so it’s yet another way in which students with less financial means may be at a bit of a disadvantage compared to those who can afford more,” said Downey.

The Vulcan Parking Garage could open as early as spring 2021 assuming that the repairs stay on schedule and that it will pass all inspections.

“I can’t wait to see it,” said Shiley. “I’ve been on campus for over four years, and I have never been able to use it.”