New garage opens on campus

Students and faculty were provided with expanded parking choices this summer when the new parking structure was completed.

This $32.5 million five-level parking garage,funded by Regional Transit as part of the Blue Line light rail extension to Cosumnes River College, has more than 2,000 parking spaces as well as an electric sign that informs drivers how many parking spots are available on each level of the structure.

“The main goal for this project was to provide the parking needed for the additional commuter traffic for the light rail,” said Cory Wathen, director of administrative services.

This parking structure offers many features, including a charging station for electric vehicles as well as security cameras for the safety of students and future RT light rail users.

“It’s pretty nice. I’m surprised it has nice aesthetics,” said Jonathan Broyles, 25, an engineering major.
Other students haven’t used the parking structure, but are in favor of it.

“I haven’t used the parking structure,” said Ryan Lassen, 19, an undeclared major. “It’s a good idea, it was needed for a very long time and it has worked perfectly. I never have trouble finding a parking spot.”

The future Cosumnes River College Regional Transit Blue Line Parking Garage mid-construction  in spring 2012.
The future Cosumnes River College Regional Transit Blue Line Parking Garage mid-construction in spring 2012.

While many are positive about the new structure, there are still minor concerns among some students.

“The roof was a little uneven, but other than that I like it a lot, as it adds a lot new space for parking we needed,” said Christian Crespo, 19, an aeronautical engineering major. “Anyone who needs to find a quick parking space should use the parking structure.”

Interest in the structure goes beyond finding a quick space to park in. The structures photovoltaic powered parking space meter, which is run by solar panels was among the features that interest students.

“I think it’s amazing because the meter that shows the amount of parking places left on each level,” said 17-year-old sonography major Anna Marrie Jollestrup. “I think it is pretty high tech and I like it, I think it’s cool.”

The entire structure is photovoltaic. These solar panels generate enough power to run 90 percent of the structure’s needs.

“The Regional Transit and Blue Line extension along with CRC have no plans to extend this project,” Wathen said.