Officials hope parkade relieves campus parking pressure
The U of S is opening its first parkade in an attempt to ease pressure on campus parking lots and meters and make the University a more welcoming place for the public.
Parking Services Supervisor Wendy Novakovski says while plans called for the new Stadium Parkade to open this week, rain caused a delay. It will now open in mid-September, as soon as last-minute roadwork at its entrance is finished.
She says the five-storey, 866-stall parkade – located off College Drive next to Griffiths Stadium – has an exterior finished with tyndall stone and metal louvres, “to be aesthetically pleasing and fit in with the total campus look”.
The $14.2-million structure is built on the site of the former student parking Z-Lot. Estimates are that it will cost $174,000 per year to operate.
The parkade is fully automated and unstaffed, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is a “Help” button drivers can use if there is any malfunction in parkade equipment.
Novakovski notes it offers the least expensive half-hour parking-lot rate on campus, at 50 cents. On exit, drivers use pre-paid cards or cash (up to $20 bills) to pay. At the moment neither debit nor credit cards can be used. Daily maximum charge is $6 in the daytime and $2 for parking between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Novakovski says there are a number of stalls for disabled drivers, as well as an elevator. More than 200 of the stalls are electrified. There will also be security cameras and emergency phones in the structure.
To introduce the Stadium Parkade to the public and students, for the first few days parking will be free. After that and until Oct. 15 there will be a special $2 daily maximum rate. Residence students will also receive a semester rate.
“ This should relieve some of the pressure on parking on campus,” Novakovski says.
For people trying to get to a meeting on campus, or for the hundreds coming to a sporting even at Griffiths Stadium or the new Physical Activity Complex, it should be a real help, she notes. It will also provide extra space for students needing short-term parking in the area.
And Novakovski adds that with a new twin-pad ice arena and a major new student residence possibly being built nearby within the next two years, the parkade will be even more crucial.
The initial plan called for a long elevated, enclosed walkway to take people from the parkade across College Drive, past the Faculty Club to the entrance of the Administration Building. But the provincial government wouldn’t allow the University to finance the walkway.
The parkade is the fourth public parking lot on campus. The other three are: the 135-stall lot across from Place Riel; the 220-stall lot by North Road and the Education Building; and the 135-stall underground lot beneath the Agriculture Building. Novakovski notes all these other lots are also open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They charge 75 cents per half-hour but have different daily maximums ($7 for Agriculture; $5 for North Road; no maximum for Place Riel).
Novakovski says prepaid parking cards can be purchased at Parking Services, in the Maintenance Building, for an initial card cost of $5 plus parking credit amounts of $50 or $100.
She says Parking Services is also looking at the possibility of transforming G-Lot, currently a faculty and staff parking lot off Science Crescent next to the Arts and Commerce Buildings, into a public parking lot from 6 p.m.–6 a.m. Monday to Friday. It would remain a reserved staff lot from 6 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday to Friday. The change is being considered for September 2005. Public parking cost would be 75 cents per half-hour to a $2 maximum, and cars must exit by 6 a.m.