Due to recent complaints made by students and faculty, Fairfield will be constructing a parking garage in front of the Aloysius P. Kelley Center. According to Jennifer Anderson, vice president of marketing and communication, developments on the parking garage will begin in May 2017 and will be completed by January 2018.

“It is still undecided who will be allowed to park in the garage once it is completed,” Anderson stated. “Parking needs across campus are continually evaluated and more details on the garage accessibility will become available as it gets closer to opening.”

Assistant director of the Department of Public Safety, John Ritchie, stated that they are waiting to fully solidify their plans until construction has begun, although the department is anticipating that the parking garage will not be open to everyone.

“Residential students will still be expected to park in their traditional designated lots. We are undecided with commuter students; however, there is little benefit for commuter students to park in the garage when there are plenty of lots closer to the academic buildings,” stated Ritchie.

Anderson stated that the parking garage will be two stories with more parking on the roof to create 380 additional parking spaces.

According to Anderson, the parking garage will be constructed using several different financial fundings such as portions from the $50 million bonds the University has accumulated over the past month.

“The parking garage, along with several other projects will be paid for by a combination of funding sources including these bonds. Fairfield Rising is a capital campaign containing new funds for construction, along with funding for new scholarships, endowed faculty chairs and new programming. That campaign is on schedule,” stated Anderson.

Students have mixed emotions about who will benefit from the garage, including how it will affect the driving community and the overall appearance of it.

Sophomore Semina Kojic, a commuter student, acknowledged that one of the biggest issues commuter students face is not being able to find parking spaces. She stated that residents will park in the commuter lots during the middle of the day and prevent non-residential students from finding valid parking spaces.

Kojic hoped that the parking garage would facilitate commuter students like herself. “I think who benefits [from it] depends on who has permission to park there. I’m sure like with other parking areas, certain floors will probably be designated for faculty, and others for students.”

Anderson noted that the University is still in the beginning stages of developing plans for the parking garage.

“We have some preliminary images of what the garage will look like, and are working closely with the architects to ensure that the garage meets both the practical needs, as well as fits into the overall aesthetics of our campus,” stated Anderson.

Sophomore Maggie Smith thinks the parking garage is a good idea, but she is concerned with the overall appearance of it.

“A parking garage in front of the Kelley Center will not be aesthetically pleasing and will only mar the beauty of the campus landscape,” stated Smith.

Freshman Carly McCarthy thinks the parking garage is a great idea as well because it will centralize parking and diminish the trouble of having to find a spot.

“With a parking garage, one would need a ticket to get into the garage compared to the original system where unregistered cars would get ticketed. A parking garage also helps DPS to avoid checking the lots daily for unregistered cars,” stated McCarthy.

Ritchie stated that Public Safety is not anticipating to adjust their current parking regulations such as fines and enforcement due to the garage. DPS knows that parking can be a challenge, but it does become adequate when the residential students adhere to the parking regulations.

“Students with registered cars who park in their designated lots do not receive parking tickets: the best advice I have [is] to simply adhere to the current policies,” stated Ritchie.

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