Student Center Parking Deck under construction

The Student Center Parking Deck is now under construction to add pedestrian exits on its southeast corner, onto Ferst Drive.

The exits are necessary because, currently, it is only possible to enter and exit the deck on the north side, according to David Santa Ana, Associate Director of Parking.

“Right now, the pedestrian exiting from that deck is really only out of two areas, and they’re on the northwest corner that empty into the center of campus and onto the north side of that visitor lot, so what we need to do is to get them out on the south end toward Ferst Drive.”

There is a vehicle entrance and exit in the southwest corner of the deck, but the grade is too steep to be safe for pedestrians. The lack of a usable walkway has become a major safety issue, prompting the new construction.

Preliminary work starting on Sept. 8 and Sept. 9, and included placing equipment, clearing shrubbery, and removing old railroad ties. The project is projected to take 4-6 weeks.

According to Santa Ana, the project was first considered two years ago as part of the Parking and Transportation Services department’s continual review of safety and efficiency on Tech’s campus.

“We just are always looking and evaluating our different situations in all of our facilities to determine what are structural/life-safety situations.”

Structural work on the deck, however, was completed first.

Santa Ana also listed projects that are slated to take place in the immediate future. Many projects focus on making students safer on campus.

“We’re currently looking at a lighting retrofit project to bring all of our lighting in all of our parking decks to more energy efficient lights.”

They are also increasing the amount of temporary visitor parking, mainly in the form of parking meters. Interestingly, these new meters will be credit card only.

“We’re actually moving toward the idea of trying to come away from coins,” said Santa Ana.

Finally, still in the planning phase is an entirely new parking deck south of the Centennial Research Building, in the extreme north of campus. This new parking deck will help ease problems many students have been having parking in North Campus.

Most of the costs of new parking construction are covered by student parking fees and long-term bonds.

Gay Construction Company was contracted to perform the construction.