Students may see a higher price tag on their parking passes next year.
Due to the construction of a new parking garage included in the Turner Street project, there will be a slight escalation of parking permit prices beginning next fall.
Richard McCoy, associate director of Parking Services, said the process to determine the new parking permit price was still undergoing, but the increase isn't expected to be drastic.
“We’ve worked very hard to keep the cost of parking down at Virginia Tech,” McCoy said. “We’re one of, if not the lowest, price parking institute on the east coast of our size. We’ve worked hard to keep the price down, and we’ll continue to do that.”
The ongoing Turner Street project, which includes the new Center for the Arts building, also includes a mixed-use building and parking garage located across Turner Street from Surge.
The mixed-use building will have retail space and house some university offices. The parking garage is meant to provide more parking for the Center for the Arts building and the north-east side of campus.
The project’s approximate costs approach $60 million for an 800-space parking garage and the mixed-use building that is 141,000 gross square feet. The Center for the Arts will be located where Schultz Dining Hall used to sit, and the parking garage will be located behind the mixed-use facility.
Because of Parking Services' involvement in managing parking across Tech's campus, it has had an active role in the construction of the new garage. It is their job to ensure that anyone needing to access facilities on the Tech campus by car is able to do so.
According to McCoy, the parking situation at Tech is much better than other campuses of comparable size.
Parking, especially faculty/staff parking, is more than capable of meeting current needs, McCoy said. Faculty/staff permits are sold at a ratio of 1.1 per 1 space, with similar ratios being true for students.
“I think there are sufficient spaces on campus, but they might not all be as convenient as people might like,” McCoy said.
The Turner Street parking garage will be the second deck-style parking option to be available on Tech's campus. The Perry Street parking garage, which opened in 2010, was the first.
McCoy alluded to the fact that Parking Services, in future updates to parking choices on campus, might rely on parking decks more frequently.
“Because we have spread out, we want to keep the reasonable walking time to classes or offices intact,” McCoy said. “We have probably moved to the periphery as far as we can, and we’ll need to start constructing upward.”
McCoy mentioned that parking decks might be considered in the Squires lot or in the Cage as well.
While he could not give a definitive date as to when the Turner Street project parking garage would be open, McCoy did say it should be relatively soon.
According to him, Parking Services has no other large projects in the near future, except for some involvement in the Multi-Modal Transit Facility on Perry Street, because it is being built on what was previously a parking lot area.
Parking Services might also have some association in the planning of a possible surface lot behind the Cage. Other than these small contributions, Parking Services will continue to oversee the parking situation on campus and make sure that it continues to exist in the most efficient state possible.