New Garage To Ease Parking Woes At UL-Lafayette

LAFAYETTE, LA (AP) — University of Louisiana at Lafayette students and faculty could find an easier commute into the heart of campus next semester with a $21 million, six-story parking tower set to open next month.

         The Advocate’s Seth Dickerson reports the Girard Park Circle Parking Garage will offer more than 1,000 parking spaces, with cars entering between the university's Oliver and Fletcher halls near the park.

         The garage will mean a quick drive to late nights crafting art in neighboring Fletcher Hall art studios, listening to lectures in Rougeau or Griffin halls' auditoriums or hours of programming in Oliver Hall's computer labs. Students will find the park side of campus much easier to access without having to park illegally or miles away at Cajun Field, said Chris Welty, UL-Lafayette multimedia specialist.

         The tower also will alleviate congestion in the Earl K. Long Gym parking lot between Oliver Hall and Girard Park Drive, Welty said.

         The upper three levels — around 525 spots — will be reserved for students, faculty and staff who purchase semester parking passes. Spring and fall semester passes cost $250 per semester, and summer passes will cost $100.

         As for the bottom levels, an automated pay station will be in place. Drivers can scan their university IDs and pay a flat rate of $6 per 12-hour period. Visitors also can use the garage.

         To increase security, the tower will be illuminated with LED lighting. LEDs are more energy efficient and brighter than fluorescent bulbs.

         There will be 60 cameras in and around the tower to keep occupants and their vehicles safe.

         Construction began in November 2013 and was completed earlier this month. The tower is part of the university's master plan, and the $21.7 million cost was paid for through student-assessed fess, bond sales and outside sources. No state funds were used.

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