New parking garage opens

Kelly Tyko

When classes started last week, freshman Michael Dorf pulled his car into a shady parking spot. Rather than circling around campus, Dorf was one of the first students to drive into FAU’s brand-new parking garage on the Boca Raton campus.

“I just drove in and pulled into a spot,” Dorf says. “It was great but I don’t expect it to be this easy in the future.”

Director of Traffic & Parking Michelle Winters wants parking on campus to be that easy. She hopes that the 1035 parking space garage, located next to the library and behind the University Center, will bring a facelift to parking on campus.

“(The garage) will be run like a parking lot, you’ll need to have a decal to park in the garage. It’s first come, first serve,” Winters says. “When the garage is full, a big neon sign saying “full” will be displayed.”

While anyone with a parking decal can park in the garage, Winters says, “Students take priority.”

Student Body President Pablo Paez is happy to hear that students are coming first. “We are the fastest growing university in the country and hopefully this garage will alleviate some of the problems and concerns that the student body has with parking.”

Winters says the growth of the university impacted the decision to build a garage, adding that there are already plans for two more garages for the Boca Raton campus.

“I know people were upset about the cost of decals, but hopefully this shows what you get when you buy a decal,” Winters says.

Though everyone that pays for a decal won’t have a chance to use a parking garage on campus. While students at the other FAU campuses from Dania to Port St. Lucie pay the same price for parking decals ($22 per semester; $44 annually) and the same transportation access fee in their tuition ($21 per semester), currently there are no plans to build garages on those campuses, Winters says.

“We’ve had complaints,” Winters admits. “But we’re looking at the need.”

For more information about Traffic & Parking, go to www.fau.edu/parking.