Last Modified: Sunday, July 01, 2012 12:29 AM
Ashley Withers // American Press firstname.lastname@example.org
Parking at McNeese State University is getting an upgrade.
Construction on the new $12 million parking garage began in early June and is expected to be completed in late February or early March 2013.
The three-story parking garage will hold 880 vehicles.
The garage will be equipped with the latest technology — all LED lighting and a top-of-the-line security system.
“We will have a large installation of cameras, about 100 of them. They will be in the elevators, stairwells and all around the garage,” said Richard Rhoden, McNeese director of facilities and plant operations. “They will be HD cameras in color and they will be monitored and recorded at the campus police station.”
Each level of the parking garage will be equipped with a digital counter that will tell students how many parking spots are still available.
“It’s keeping students from aimlessly trolling around the parking garage looking for a space,” Rhoden said.
Rhoden said the university also hopes to get an app for smartphones that will allow students to see how many spaces are available before they get to campus.
The new structure will have five entrances and exits, none of which will lead directly onto Common Street. They will all lead into on-campus streets.
“With the large volume of vehicles, we need to be able to control that flow as best as possible,” Rhoden said.
The garage will have an emergency call station on every level and an emergency broadcast system will be installed.
The construction has caused some inconveniences for summer students and faculty because it has caused certain on-campus streets to be blocked off and some student parking closed.
Vernon Drive is closed indefinitely, and Vermillion Street may also have to be closed during construction.
Rhoden said the inconveniences are as minor as possible and only about 200 student vehicles are displaced.