The beginning of the school year marked the opening of the new on-campus parking structure as faculty, staff members, students and key La Verne residents participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony 4:30 p.m. Sept. 1 at the Lawn.
Speeches by University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman and La Verne Mayor Don Kendrick highlighted the partnership between the University and the city.
“If it were not for the city of La Verne working with us we would not have been able to complete this structure,” Lieberman said.
The new structure holds 940 parking spaces, increasing overall parking in the area to roughly 1080 spaces.
Prior to the completion of the structure, Lot D contained about 380 parking spaces.
The $16 million project was also built with sustainability in mind, and features solar panels on the roof to power the structure, the relocated Campus Safety and Transportation offices, new additions to Leo Park and the surrounding parking near the structure.
There is also a biofiltration system to collect water runoff from the structure and irrigate it out.
Kendrick recognized the University with a certificate to commemorate the completion and grand opening of the parking structure.
He said the parking structure will ease tension in the community about parking not only on campus but also off campus on residential streets.
“This structure is another example of the wonderful partnership between the city and University of La Verne,” Kendrick said.
Clive Houston-Brown, vice president of facilities and technology, announced that construction was completed six weeks ahead of schedule and slightly under the initial $16 million budget.
“The completion of the parking structure is a way to now move on to the next phase of the University’s Master Plan,” Houston-Brown said.
On behalf of the student body, senior business administration major and Associated Students of the University of La Verne President Alexis Coria thanked the University administration for taking in previous concerns about parking and creating a solution.
“Parking caused tension not only among students but also with the community,” Coria said.
“I’m happy to not hear students complain about parking anymore.”
Students are showing excitement toward the new structure and ease of parking.
“As a commuter student, the structure has changed my life,” senior political science major Gabriela Krupa said.
“Instead of a 30 minute process to find parking, it now takes about five minutes, and I don’t have to worry about showing up to class late anymore.”
Faculty members also share this relief.
“It makes me happy to see how full it gets,” Houston-Brown said.
“Without the structure, we would have had a majority of students and faculty circling around in search of parking.”
With the completion of the parking structure, students are looking forward to the future building plans as part of the University’s Master Plan.
“I’m amazed to see it finished and can’t wait to see the new additions go up just as fast,” said Mariela Martinez, senior political science major and ASULV Senator for the College of Arts and Sciences.
Christina Garcia can be reached at email@example.com.